[THE INVESTOR] Korea’s imported vehicle sales rose 0.5 percent in November from a year earlier on high demand for new models, industry data showed on Dec. 5.
The total number of newly registered foreign vehicles climbed to 22,387 last month from 22,266 a year ago, the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association said in a statement.
The three best-selling models were the Mercedes-Benz E300 sedan, the Mercedes-Benz CLS 400d 4MATIC sedan and the Lexus ES300h sedan, it said.
Customers continued to choose Mercedes-Benz and Lexus models over BMW cars, which are still regarded as fire-prone vehicles due to faulty exhaust gas recirculation components.
In November, BMW vehicle sales plunged 64 percent to 2,476 units from 6,827 a year earlier. In contrast, Mercedes-Benz vehicle sales jumped 15 percent to 7,208 from 6,296 during the same period, the statement said.
BMW has yet to complete a recall, due to run till the end of this year, of about 106,000 models with fire-prone EGR coolers and pipes. The German carmaker has been plagued by dozens of engine fires, mainly in its best-selling 520d sedan. BMW identified the EGR parts as the “root cause” of the fire incidents.
In the January-November period, imported carmakers sold a combined 240,255, up 13 percent from 212,660 units a year ago.
Imported carmakers accounted for 16.92 percent of the local passenger car market in the first 11 months, up from 15.24 percent a year earlier, KAIDA said.
By Song Seung-hyun and newswires (email@example.com)