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South Korea’s Automobile Sales Results in 2023

South Korea’s vehicle sales increased 3.2% year-on-year to 1,743,366 units in 2023. The figure is based on the combined results of the members of South Korea’s automotive industry association KAMA and imported vehicle association KAIDA as well as Tesla which is not a member of either association. Sales remained at a high level in the first half of the year thanks to easing of the vehicle supply shortage and reduced individual consumption taxes on automobiles. In the second half of the year, sales were below the same month of the previous year in all months except November due to the ending of the tax break in June 2023.

Passenger vehicles increased by 3.5% from the previous year to 1,504,892 units, of which SUVs rose by 8.0% to 787,296 units, but passenger cars such as sedans dropped by 1.4% to 625,160 units. Commercial vehicles went up 1.2% to 238,474 units.

Market leader Hyundai’s sales increased by 14.8% from the previous year to 635,506 units. Sales were driven by the Grandeur, which was fully remodeled in November 2022, and the Santa Fe, whose fully remodeled version was released in August 2023. Hyundai was followed by Kia with 565,826 units, up 4.6% year-on-year. Genesis came in third with 126,567 units, down 6.3% year-on-year.

EV sales increased by 27.1% from the previous year to 474,391 units, and the market composition ratio of EVs rose by 5.1 points to 27.2%. HEV sales surged by 53.6% to 305,517 units, with sales of the Grandeur HEV increasing 3.1 times from the previous year to 61,907 units, but growth of BEVs nearly remained the same at 155,326 units, inching up 0.4% from the previous year.

Graph: South Korea: Sales Volume of Automobiles (2014-2023)Graph: South Korea: Market Share of Top 7 Brands (2018-2023)
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