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South Korean new vehicle market grows nearly 5 percent in April

10 May 2018 Jamal Amir

New vehicle sales in South Korea grew 4.8% year on year (y/y) to 160,120 units in April, thanks to strong demand for new models launched by Hyundai and Kia, and surge in demand for imported passenger vehicles.

  • Implications South Korean OEMs are banking on new models to bolster sales in their home market. They have either launched or plan to bring out a raft of new models in 2018.
  • Outlook IHS Markit forecasts that light-vehicle sales in South Korea will come in at 1.80 million units (up 2.6% y/y) in 2018, mainly on the back of new model launches, a recovering economy, and the resumption of sales of Volkswagen Group's models in the country.

IHS Markit perspective

New vehicle sales in South Korea, including passenger vehicle imports, grew 4.8% year on year (y/y) to 160,120 units during April, up from 152,726 units in the same month of 2017, according to a report by the Yonhap News Agency, the Korean Automobile Importers' and Distributors' Association (KAIDA), and data compiled by IHS Markit. In the year to date (YTD), total vehicle sales in the country grew marginally by 0.9% y/y 584,841 units.

Hyundai and Kia maintained their lead of the South Korean vehicle market in April with a combined share of 70.1%. Hyundai posted an increase of 5.7% y/y in its monthly sales to 63,788 units, while affiliate Kia's sales grew by 14.9% y/y to 50,004 units. During the month, SsangYong remained as the third-largest domestic automaker with sales of 8,124 units, down 2.7% y/y. Renault Samsung's sales declined 20.7% y/y to 6,903 units, while General Motors (GM) Korea's sales plunged 54.2% y/y to 5,378 units.

IHS Markit forecasts that light-vehicle sales in South Korea will come in at 1.80 million units in 2018, up 2.6% from 1.75 million units in 2017. This will be split between passenger vehicle sales of 1.60 million units (up 2.8%) and light commercial vehicle sales of 203,706 units (up 1.1%). The country's new light-vehicle market will be driven by new model launches, a recovering economy, and the resumption of sales of VW Group's models in the country, according to IHS Markit South Korean light-vehicle sales forecasting analyst Andy Bae.

Read the full article

The above article is an excerpt from AutoIntelligence Daily by IHS Markit. AutoIntelligence Daily provides same-day analysis of automotive news, events and trends. Get a free trial and read the full article.

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