SEOUL-- Sales of imported vehicles in South Korea jumped 10 percent last month compared to a year earlier on robust demand for German and Japanese vehicles, industry data showed Wednesday.

The number of newly registered foreign vehicles rose to 17,547 in August from 15,932 a year earlier, the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association (KAIDA) said in a statement.

The three best-selling models were the BMW 520d, Lexus ES300h and Mercedes-Benz E 220d 4MATIC sedans, the statement said.

In January to August, imported car sales were up 3.3 percent to 153,327 autos from 148,411 in the same period a year ago, it said.

As the government moves to reduce the number of diesel cars on the streets by 30 percent over the next five years, imported carmakers sold a total of 75,541 diesel cars in the first eight months, down from 92,626 a year earlier, the KAIDA data showed.

In contrast, the sale of imported gasoline cars jumped 35 percent to 62,978 from 46,683 during the same period, according the data.

Eight out of 10 imported vehicles sold here from January to August were from Europe. Seven out of 10 imported cars were made by German carmakers such as BMW and Mercedes-Benz, the statement said.

The share of imported vehicles in the domestic passenger car market rose to 15.17 percent in the first eight months of this year from 14.56 percent tallied for the same period in 2016, a KAIDA spokeswoman said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency