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More Mercedes-Benz luxury cars sold in Korea than Germany in first half

More Mercedes-Benz luxury cars sold in Korea than Germany in first half

Posted August. 08, 2017 07:08,   

Updated August. 08, 2017 07:25


Higher-end model cars from Mercedes-Benz sold in Korea outnumbered those sold in Germany, the origin of the Mercedes vehicles, in the first half of this year, statistics showed. Attention is focusing on whether Mercedes will continue strides by overcoming ongoing controversy over its suspected manipulation of emissions reduction devices, which erupted last month.


According to Mercedes-Benz Korea on Monday, the number of Mercedes vehicles sold in the Korean market in the first half amounted to 37,723. The figure represents a 54-percent increase year-on-year, and as a result Korea ranks fifth in the world in terms of the brand’s sales volume by country. More Mercedes vehicles were sold only in four countries worldwide namely China, the U.S., Germany and the U.K. than in Korea.

Koreans have displayed their extraordinary affection for Mercedes in the higher-end S-Class and E-Class segments. A total of 18,453 cars of the E-Class series, which are priced at 60 million won (53,100 U.S. dollars) to 100 million won (89,000 dollars) per unit, were sold in Korea in the first half. The figure places Korea at third place only after China and the U.S., and higher than Germany (ranked fourth). Korea also ranked third, ahead of Germany, in sales volume of the S-Class series, whose price starts from the mid-100 million won level here.


Whether Mercedes will continue to enjoy popularity will depend on how controversy over the automaker’s alleged manipulation of the emission reduction devices, which erupted in Germany, will come to an end. Mercedes remained atop in July’s sales of import vehicles in Korea by selling 5,471 units. The company suffered a slight setback in sales. Mercedes-Benz E220d model, which was the top selling car by type of imported vehicles in the first half of this year, ranked second after the Lexus ES300h in July.


Mercedes is moving fast to deal with the situation not only at its headquarters but also in Korea. The German automaker has decided to upgrade software for emissions control in its diesel vehicles both in Europe and Korea. The company also plans to come up with measures to further improve its emissions reduction devices by October this year.


“Considering that Mercedes has started far-reaching measures not only in Europe but also in Korea, the automaker will likely suffer lighter damage than Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal two years ago, but if manipulation is proven to be true, it will incur bigger-than-expected ramifications,” said a source in the Korean import car industry.

Woo-Shin Han hanwshin@donga.com