Business

Japanese vehicle sales in South Korea fell 22% in 2019 amid boycotts

JIJI

The number of Japanese vehicles sold in South Korea in 2019 fell 22.0 percent from the previous year, according to data from the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association.

The drop in sales, announced Wednesday, apparently reflects the effects of South Korean boycotts against Japanese products, following Tokyo’s decision to tighten controls on semiconductor material exports to its East Asian neighbor.

Sales of Japanese brands shrank in the latter half of the year, the industry body said.

Total sales of Japanese vehicles decreased by around 6,600 units from 2018 to some 23,400 units. In terms of value, Japanese vehicle sales declined 18.0 percent to around 1,087 billion won, or approximately ¥102.7 billion.

Total imported vehicle sales stood at about 275,100 units, with German models being the most common type of imported vehicles, at roughly 158,500 units, followed by U.S. vehicles at 42,700 units and Japanese vehicles.

According to South Korean trade ministry data published Jan. 16, domestic sales of Toyota Motor Co.’s mainstay Toyota brand in 2019 fell 36.7 percent to 10,611 units, while those of the luxury Lexus brand decreased 8.2 percent to 12,241. Nissan Motor Co.’s sales also struggled, plunging 39.7 percent to 3,049 units.

Meanwhile, Honda Motor Co. saw sales grow 10.1 percent to 8,760 units, as discounts boosted purchases.

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