Tuesday, January 26, 2016

S.Korea's diesel car imports set record in Q4 despite Volkswagen scandal

Diesel car imports in South Korea set a new record in the fourth quarter last year despite worry that Volkswagen's emissions scandal may dent demand for foreign luxury vehicles, customs data showed Tuesday.

The country's foreign car imports reached 2.66 billion US dollars during the October-December period, up 10.2 percent from the previous three months, according to the Korea Customs Service.

The number of auto imports increased 5.9 percent from the previous quarter to 87,000 units in the fourth quarter.

Diesel car imports reached 836 million dollars for mid-sized vehicles and 867 million dollars for large-sized ones each, setting new records for both in the fourth quarter.

The record-high sales came despite concerns about emissions fabricating scandal involving German carmaker Volkswagen, which cheated on greenhouse gas emissions with software embedded in diesel models.

The customs agency attributed the record sales to aggressive marketing efforts and discount sales promotions by foreign automakers.

Car exports by local automakers declined 8.3 percent from a year earlier to 10.74 billion dollars during the three-month period to Dec. 31. The number of car exports slumped 4.3 percent to 774,000 units.

Auto demand from the Middle East weakened as falling crude oil prices hit hard the oil-exporting countries.

Car exports to Saudi Arabia tumbled 14.9 percent in the fourth quarter, with those to Russia and Canada, which depend on commodity exports for growth, declining more than 30 percent in the final quarter of last year.

 Xinhua - globaltimes.cn

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