The Korea Herald


Volvo expands presence in Korean market

Swedish automaker going toe to toe with Audi for No. 3 auto importer spot

By Kan Hyeong-woo

Published : Nov. 3, 2023 - 14:11

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Volvo XC60 (Volvo Cars Korea) Volvo XC60 (Volvo Cars Korea)

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 monthly report released Friday, the Swedish automaker sold 1,263 units in the country in October. Audi which sold 1,141 vehicles in the same period. With that, Volvo Cars Korea became the third-biggest auto importer last month, taking the No. 3 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 percent of the total auto import market here. Audi has sold 15,258 cars to take up a 6.96 percent market share.

Compared to last year, the Swedish automaker’s sales in the first ten months of the year increased by 37.7 percent, whereas the three top German brands suffered on-year losses between 3 to 10 percent during the same period.

The Volvo XC60, the carmaker’s global best-selling hybrid sports utility vehicle, has propelled the brand’s rise here. According to the KAIDA’s data, Volvo sold 899 units of the SUV in September alone, seeing a 248 percent 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 percent growth this year with strong demand based on the trust from individual customers in their 30s and 40s,” said Lee Man-shik, head of sales and marketing at Volvo Cars Korea.

“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 percent on-year. The automaker also announced its plan to invest 111 billion won ($83 million) to open seven new exhibition halls and add eight service centers to improve customer experiences.