Imported car sales fall 23 pct in Oct. on part shortages

SEOUL– Sales of imported vehicles in South Korea fell 23 percent in October from a year earlier as a global chip shortage caused a lack of supplies, an industry association said Wednesday.

The number of newly registered foreign vehicles fell to 18,764 units last month from 24,257 a year ago, the Korea Automobile Importers & Distributors Association (KAIDA) said in a statement.

Vehicle sales declined as an extended semiconductor parts shortage continued to affect vehicle production and sales.

The three bestselling models last month were Audi’s A6 45 TFSI sedan, Volkswagen’s Jetta 1.4 TSI sedan and BMW’s 520 sedan.

In October, three German brands — Audi-Volkswagen Korea, BMW Group Korea and Mercedes-Benz Korea — sold a combined 12,317 units, down 26 percent from 16,604 the previous year. German cars accounted for 7 out of 10 imported vehicles sold in Asia’s fourth-biggest economy last month, KAIDA said.

Three Japanese carmakers — Honda Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp. and its independent brand, Lexus — sold 1,703 units, down 1.8 percent from 1,735 during the same period.

From January to October, imported carmakers sold 233,432 autos, up 8.1 percent from 216,004 units in the same period of last year.

Import brands accounted for 20.65 percent of the Korean passenger vehicle market in September, up from 15.7 percent a year ago. Their market share for October will be available next month, KAIDA said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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