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Japanese car sales increase for first time since boycott began


Sales of Japanese cars in South Korea increased for the first time since a nationwide boycott of Japanese products began here last year, data showed Thursday.

According to the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association, the number of Japanese automobiles newly registered in August was 1,413, up 1.1 percent from the same time last year, when it stood at 1,398.

The increase comes 13 months after a trade conflict broke out between the two countries in July 2019 and triggered the boycott.

According to the association, accumulated sales of Japanese cars totaled 13,070 vehicles so far this year, half of last year’s figure.

Lexus Korea sold 703 cars in August, a 16.6 percent increase on-year, while Honda Korea’s sales jumped 74.6 percent on-year to 241 vehicles in the same month.

For Toyota, which sold 433 vehicles, on-year sales decreased by 20.1 percent, but the rate of decrease slowed.

In August, the number of newly registered imported cars was 21,894, a 20.8 percent rise from the same period last year, according to KAIDA.

BMW Korea topped the list in sales performance, selling 7,252 vehicles in the month, up 69 percent. It is the first time the automaker has held the No. 1 position since December 2017.

Mercedes-Benz was next, but its sales decreased 10.5 percent to 6,030 vehicles in the month.

Audi Korea saw its sales jump ninefold in August to 2,022 vehicles, landing third on the list.

By Jo He-rim (