Sales of imported cars have jumped again while domestic automakers languished in the first half of the year.
According to the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association on Tuesday, total car sales shrank 2.6 percent on-year to 924,000 cars from January to June.
This is partly due to a 6.2 percent decrease in output of Korea’s carmakers amid a shortage of electronic parts. The sales of the three smaller troubled carmakers — GM Korea, Renault Samsung and Ssangyong — plunged 34.9 percent.
But sales of imported cars soared 17.9 percent over the same period to 167,000 cars, yet another record, due to pent-up demand for luxury goods.
German car brands such as Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi took up more than 10 percent of the domestic market, an all-time high, while the overall market share of imported cars increased from 15 percent to 18.1 percent.
Super-luxury models costing over W400 million roared out of the showrooms, with Bentley and Rolls-Royce selling 765 vehicles, up 38.3 percent (US$1=W1,149).
Some 60 percent of electric cars sold here are imported, up 53 percent, mostly Teslas.
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