South Korea. In the 2019 the market moderately declines

Korean Vehicles Market

Korean Vehicles Market is moderately declining in the 2019 while remaining not far from the best level ever. Indeed, Year to Date October sales have been 1.43 million, down 3.7% with October down 2.1%. Hyundai and Kia still dominate, while their combined market share at 67.2% is down 8 points from the 2012.

Economic Environment

South Korean economic growth was stable in the third quarter, as a softer contraction in fixed investment offset a slight deceleration in private consumption growth. Meanwhile, public spending continued to surge, albeit at a marginally softer pace than in the second quarter. Moreover, in the external sector, both exports and imports grew modestly in Q3; however, this resulted in a negative contribution to growth, contrasting the positive contribution in Q2. Shifting focus to the fourth quarter, economic growth again appears more or less steady: Consumer confidence hit a six-month high in October, although merchandise exports contracted in October at a sharper pace than in Q3.

Growth is projected to accelerate next year as fiscal stimulus—aimed at boosting employment and supporting research and development in areas such as artificial intelligence—should underpin growth. That said, the U.S.-China trade war and uncertainty in the Korea-Japan relationship pose downside risks.

Market Trend

South Korean vehicles market has been closed to foreign vehicles import until the recent (2012) FTA with EU. The entrance of many new competitors fueled the market growth in these years and the all time record sales had been established in three years in a row in the period 2014-2016, with the record fixed at 1.83 million units.

On 26 March 2017, the U.S. and Korea agreed to revise their bilateral free trade agreement. The agreement—which would improve U.S. access to Korea’s automobile market and require Korea to curb its steel exports to the U.S. in return for an exemption from higher U.S. steel tariffs. The industry continued to assist at the growth of imported vehicles, mainly luxury brands, while in the 2017 and was stable around the 1.8 million units.

In the 2019, according to data released by KAMA and KAIDA, the South Korean Car Passenger’s market is stable again projecting the full year at 1.78 million units. Indeed, Year to Date October sales have been 1.43 million, down 3.7% with October down 2.1%.

The market is dominated by Hyundai and Kia, despite in recent years they are losing share. Indeed, from a record 75% of combined share in the 2012, actually they have 67.2%, near 8 point lost. Total domestic brands have actually 82.1% of market share, down 9 points of share since the 2012.

The top imported brands are Mercedes, actually over 4% of market share from 0.1% in 2011, BMW, at 2.8% and Lexus at 0.7%.

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Rank 2019Rank 2018 Sales YTD 2019Sales October'+/- YTD 2019'+/- OctoberShare YTD 2019Share October
45Renault Samsung68.8038.401-3,3%-4,7%4,8%5,4%
1713Land Rover6.223427-39,9%-32,9%0,4%0,3%
Rank 2019Rank 2018 Sales YTD 2019Sales October'+/- YTD 2019'+/- OctoberShare YTD 2019Share October
22Mahindra Group90.2778.0452,4%-20,2%6,3%5,1%
33Renault Nissan Alliance72.7858.708-5,6%-7,1%5,1%5,5%
44General Motors63.2246.485-17,1%-24,1%4,4%4,1%
55Mercedes Daimler62.9338.02510,2%26,0%4,4%5,1%
78Toyota Group19.390864-16,2%-73,9%1,4%0,6%
87Volkswagen Group14.3492.976-47,7%29,2%1,0%1,9%
1012Geely Group8.91494023,9%36,8%0,6%0,6%
Rank 2019Rank 2018 Sales YTD 2019Sales October'+/- YTD 2019'+/- October
16Hyundai Sonata82.59910.68849,3%69,0%
21Hyundai Grandeur79.7729.867-13,8%9,2%
32Hyundai Santa fe72.8286.676-18,7%-31,7%
44Hyundai Avante53.9766.571-15,9%-9,1%
53Kia Carnival52.8234.835-17,9%-29,2%
614Kia K744.7646.51839,6%72,3%
7Hyundai Palisade42.7943.087
85Kia Sorento41.6474.581-25,6%-14,3%
97Kia Morning41.3434.257-15,7%-19,5%
1010Kia K336.1843.137-3,3%-23,7%