] Sales of imported vehicles in South Korea fell 8.3 percent last month compared to a year earlier on halted sales of Audi and Volkswagen models, following the German carmaker‘s “dieselgate” emissions-cheating scandal, industry data showed Jan. 5.
The number of newly registered foreign vehicles fell to 20,428 in December from 16,778 a year earlier, the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association said in a statement.
The three best-selling models were the BMW 520d, Lexus ES300h and Mercedes-Benz E 300 4MATIC sedans. Six in 10 imported vehicles sold in Korea last month were from Germany, the statement said.
Seven out of 10 imported vehicles sold here in the first nine months were from Europe, it said.
For the whole of 2017, imported vehicle sales reached 233,088 units, up from 225,279 a year earlier, with their share in the domestic passenger car market at 15.16 percent, higher than the previous year’s 14.36 percent, a KAIDA spokeswoman said.
As Audi Volkswagen Korea has recently resumed sales of their models, KAIDA expects registrations of imported cars will grow to 256,000 autos this year, a 9 percent on-year increase.
In November, the German automaking group resumed sales of its R8 sports car after it fully suspended sales of its vehicles in August 2016 and Audi cars in March 2017, after it took flak for the emissions scandal.
By Alex Lee and newswires (email@example.com