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Imported car sales fall 9.2 pct in May on lack of supply volumes

Sales of imported vehicles in South Korea fell 9.2 percent last month from a year earlier due mainly to lack of supplies in some brands, an industry association said Monday.

The number of newly registered imported vehicles came to 21,339 units in May, down from 23,512 units a year ago, the Korea Automobile Importers & Distributors Association (KAIDA) said in a statement.

The three bestselling models last month were BMW's 520 sedan, Lexus' ES300h sedan, and Mercedes-Benz's E 350 4MATIC sedan, the statement said.

In May, three German brands -- Volkswagen Group Korea, BMW Group Korea and Mercedes-Benz Korea -- sold a combined 15,097 units, down 14 percent from 17,539 the previous year.

German cars accounted for 71 percent of imported cars sold in Asia's fourth-biggest economy last month, falling from 75 percent from a year earlier, KAIDA said.

In contrast, three Japanese brands -- Honda Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp. and its independent brand, Lexus -- sold a total 1,709 units last month, jumping 50 percent from 1,136 a year earlier.

Imported brands accounted for 16.24 percent of the Korean passenger vehicle market in April, down from 18.71 percent a year ago. Their market share for May has yet to be released, KAIDA said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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