SEOUL: Sales of imported cars in South Korea jumped 24.2 percent in 2015 from a year earlier, driven by a marked growth in demand for European car brands, industry data showed Thursday.
According to the data by the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association, 243,900 foreign vehicles were newly registered in the country last year, compared with the previous year’s 196,359 units.
European cars dominated the local market, with 80.9 percent of annual imports coming from the area, up 80.4 percent in 2014. Japanese and American brands followed with 11.9 percent and 7.2 percent, respectively.
German carmakers carved out the largest portion, taking up 68.5 percent of newly registered foreign vehicles last year. But it was slightly down from 69.4 percent tallied a year earlier.
BMW topped the pack by selling 47,877 units, up 19.2 percent from 2014, followed by Mercedes-Benz, whose sales also jumped 33.5 percent on-year to 46,994 units.
Despite the worldwide diesel gate over cheating on emissions results, the best-selling car was Volkswagen’s Tiguan 2.0 TDI BlueMotion with sales of 9,467 units.
Diesel vehicles took up 68.8 percent of all foreign car sales last year. Gasoline vehicles came in second with 26.9 percent, while hybrid and electric cars trailed with 4 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively, the data showed.