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Diesel vehicles sales drop 20pc in South Korea amid EV popularity

ANN/THE KOREA HERALD – Data indicates a decline of over 20 per cent in the year-on-year sales of diesel automobiles produced by manufacturers in South Korea during the third quarter of 2023.

Major carmakers reported the sale of 76,367 units of diesel passenger cars from January to September, marking a drop from the 97,235 units sold in the same period the previous year. The decline is attributed to growing preference for electric vehicles (EVs) within the market, as revealed by data compiled by the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association.

By model, sales of diesel models of Hyundai Motor Co’s Palisade sports utility vehicle (SUV) nearly halved over the period to 11,693. Kia Corp, the company’s smaller sister, also saw sales of the Mohave SUV plunge 55.8 per cent to 4,162.

Industry watchers said the decline in diesel vehicle sales came as manufacturers are seeking to scale back their shipments in line with the increasing preference for eco-friendly cars in the market.

Hyundai recently launched the fifth-generation Santa Fe SUV but only offered gasoline and hybrid models. The company also suspended sales of the diesel versions of the Genesis G70 and G80 sedans with 2.2-litre diesel engines.