August sales of Japanese cars in South Korea have decreased despite increasing demand for imported cars.
Total sales for the Japanese brands in South Korea have reached 1, 589 units last month, a fall of 12.3% compared with the same period last year, shows data from the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association. Currently, seven Japanese automakers are available in South Korea, among which Lexus and Toyota imported by Toyota Motor Korea and Nissan and Infiniti imported by Nissan Korea.
On the other hand, imported cars in South Korea were up 16% on-year in August, according to data from KAIDA. From January to July, Japanese brands saw an increase of 30.7% on-year, to 13,104 units sold. Three brands saw a decline in sales: Lexus with a drop of 39.1% on-year in August, Nissan down 70.5% and Infiniti with a decrease of 50%.
Lexus officials blame the decline on the fact that South Korea customers have postponed their purchases as they waited for the new Lexus ES model, which is expected to go on sale by the end of this week. Nissan also attributed the loss to a decreased demand ahead of the release of new models, such as the mid-size Altima sedan.
“We expect our sales to turn around in the coming months as we will come up with new models that appeal to South Korean customers,” said an official from Nissan Korea.