SEOUL, Sept. 4 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s import vehicle sales fell 5.6 percent last month due to a slump in Japanese vehicle sales amid trade tensions with Japan, reports said. sector data revealed on Wednesday.
The number of newly registered foreign vehicles stood at 18,112 in August, up from 19,206 a year earlier, according to data from the Korea Association of Automobile Importers and Distributors (KAIDA).
Weak demand for Japanese cars drove the overall decline. Spurred by Japan‘s July trade restrictions against South Korea, public anti-Japanese sentiment has grown in recent months, with some people boycotting Japanese products.
Combined Japanese car sales reached 1,398 units last month, more than half from a year earlier. By brand, Toyota saw August sales drop 59.1% year-on-year to 542 units, while Honda suffered an 80.9% year-on-year drop to 138 units. Nissan sales fell 87.4% year-on-year to 57 units.
Mercedes-Benz was the top-selling foreign auto brand in August with 6,740 units, followed by BMW with 4,291 and MINI with 1,095.
The three best-selling models were the Mercedes-Benz E 300 sedan, the Mercedes-Benz E 300 4MATIC sedan and the BMW 520 sedan, KAIDA said.
From January to August, sales of imported cars fell 18.3 percent to 146,889 units from 179,833 in the same period last year, he said.