AAA weekly


South Korea’s Automobile Sales by Segment in 2019 Decline 1.7% to 1.78 Million Units

South Korea’s automobile market dropped 1.7% year-on-year in 2019 to 1.78 million units. Passenger car sales shrank 7.4% due to decrease in demand for cars especially in the A, B and C segments. In contrast, SUVs went up 10.9%, maintaining double-digit growth. The share of SUVs in the overall market rose from 21.2% in 2014 to 34.5% in 2019.

Passenger car sales declined 7.4% to 811,000 units in 2019. Apart from the large (D / E) segment, all other segments decreased across the board. The micro / mini (A) segment fell 9.5% to 115,000 units, going down for the fifth consecutive year. The semi-medium (C) segment decreased 18.4% to 120,000 units, shrinking for the ninth consecutive year. The sharp drop is due to the diminishing sales of the segment-leader Hyundai Avante which reached the end of its product cycle. The volume-selling medium (D) segment went down 2.2% to 188,000 units. Although the fully-redesigned Hyundai Sonata, ranked first in its segment, went up over 50%, the Kia K5 and Renault Samsung SM6, ranked second and third in 2019, declined double digits, causing overall sales to fall below the previous year’s level. The large (D / E) segment, which was the only segment increase, inched up 2.3% to 165,000 units.

SUV sales went up 10.9% to 616,000 units, reaching an historic high level. Of which small SUVs increased 18.8% to 187,000 units. Although the segment-leader Ssangyong Tivoli dropped nearly 20%, the Hyundai Venue and Kia Seltos, both released in mid-2019, added 17,000 units and 32,000 units to the total. South Korea’s top-selling medium / large SUV segment increased 6.7% to 375,000 units. Although the segment’s top model Hyundai Santa Fe fell nearly 20%, it remained on top.

Please log in or subscribe to AAA weekly to view the rest of this report.
Free trial subscriptions are available!