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Volvo increases footprint in Korean market

ANN/THE KOREA HERALD – Volvo is putting the pedal to the metal as it inches closer and closer to overtaking Audi’s third place in South Korea’s auto import market that has long been led by the three German brands: Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi.

According to the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association’s (KAIDA) monthly report, the Swedish automaker sold 1,263 units in the country in October. Audi sold 1,141 vehicles in the same period. With that, Volvo Cars Korea became the third-biggest auto importer last month, taking the number three spot for the second consecutive month.

The KAIDA’s cumulative figures showed that Volvo has sold 13,770 units in the country as of October since the beginning of this year and accounts for 6.29 per cent of the total auto import market. Audi has sold 15,258 cars to take up a 6.96 per cent market share.

Compared to last year, the Swedish automaker’s sales in the first 10 months of the year increased by 37.7 per cent, whereas the three top German brands suffered on-year losses between three to 10 per cent during the same period.

The Volvo XC60, the carmaker’s global best-selling hybrid sports utility vehicle, has propelled the brand’s rise. According to the KAIDA’s data, Volvo sold 899 units of the SUV in September alone, seeing a 248 per cent increase from the previous month. The Volvo XC60 was the highest-selling SUV and became the second most-sold model in the country only behind the Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

“Despite the challenging environment that the auto industry is facing right now, we are seeing (around) 33 per cent growth this year with strong demand based on the trust from individual customers in their 30s and 40s,” said Head of Sales and Marketing at Volvo Cars Korea Lee Man-shik.

“Moving forward, we will roll out the (models for 2024) and increase the quantity, as well as expand our service network to continue our high-quality growth.”

As of August this year, Korea was the eighth-largest market for Volvo and the biggest market in the Asia-Pacific region, excluding China.

Earlier this year, Volvo Cars Korea laid out its goal of selling 10,000 units for the fifth year in a row and eventually selling over 17,500 units, an increase of about 20 per cent on-year.