German car registration number South Korea 1987-2019

Almost 147 thousand cars from German brands were registered in South Korea in 2019, accounting for around 60 percent of the total number of imported cars. The German Mercedes-Benz was the first foreign automobile brand to be officially imported and sold in Korea in 1987, when the Korean government opened up the market to foreign cars. Unfortunately, like other imported brands, sales of German cars dropped in the aftermath of the 1997 Asian financial crisis.
2015 was the best year for German automakers so far, with more than 167 thousand cars sold over the year. Sales dropped, however, in 2016 and 2017 in the aftermath of the Volkswagen emissions falsification scandal, when Volkswagen knowingly falsified the emissions from their diesel engines. The Korean government canceled the import certifications of 32 Volkswagen and Audi models. Audi is a member of the Volkswagen Group, which is also the parent group of Volkswagen. Sales of Audis dropped to less than a thousand in 2017, while Volkswagen sold no cars at all.

Number of German cars registered in South Korea from 1987 to 2019

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Release date

February 2020


South Korea

Survey time period

1987 to 2019

Supplementary notes

Released date is the date of access.

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Statistics on "Automotive industry in South Korea"

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