Mercedes-Benz is steadily growing in South Korea and has posted new record sales every month this year. Last month Mercedes-Benz recorded the best October of all time in Korea, with sales rising by 42 percent to 1,200 units. Vehicle deliveries have doubled since the beginning of the year, increasing to 13,500 units (January–October 2009: 6,800). As a result, Mercedes-Benz grew more than the import market as a whole, which increased by around 50 percent. Mercedes-Benz has boosted sales in South Korea each year since 2000. In 2009, it sold almost 9,000 units, or nine times as many as ten years ago.
Dr. Joachim Schmidt, Executive Vice President Sales and Marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars: “After China, the market in which Mercedes-Benz is growing the fastest this year is South Korea. In the first ten months of 2010, we grew faster there than our premium competitors, which is why we recorded the largest increase in market share. We will achieve another sales record in South Korea this year. In terms of absolute sales volumes, this market will continue to increase in significance over the medium term and will make an important contribution to our worldwide growth in the coming years.”
South Korea was the world’s fifth-largest automobile manufacturer in 2009, producing a total of 3.5 million cars, vans, trucks, and buses. Passenger vehicles account for 85 percent of all automotive sales in South Korea, while the remaining 15 percent are commercial vehicles. The South Korean import market currently makes up seven percent of total passenger vehicle sales in the country, which amounted to 1.2 million units in 2009. However, the inhabitants’ rising incomes have led to a sharp increase in the demand for imported premium vehicles since 2004, and the outlook remains good. “We expect the import market to grow by at least 40 percent this year, while the market as a whole will prospectively remain unchanged,” says Schmidt.
Mercedes-Benz has been growing at a double-digit rate in all product segments this year, and leads the market with its C-, E-, and S-Class vehicles. Sales have gotten their biggest boost this year from the S- and E-Class sedans. In fact, the E-Class was the best-selling model in South Korea between January and October, with sales rising by 180 percent to over 7,000 units. Deliveries of the S-Class increased by 55 percent to 2,300 units during this period. Meanwhile, sales of the C-Class sedan rose by 44 percent to 2,400 vehicles. The market launch of the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG super sports car in June added another fascinating vehicle to the brand’s product range. Besides the SLS AMG and the S-, E-, and C-Class sedans, Mercedes-Benz also offers the B-Class, the ML and GLK SUVs, the E-Class coupe and convertible, the CL, the CLS, and the SLK in South Korea.
The Daimler subsidiary Mercedes-Benz Korea Ltd. (MBK) is responsible for importing, selling, and marketing the vehicles in the South Korean market. Since its establishment in January 2003, Mercedes-Benz Korea has opened 17 showrooms, 19 service centers, an express service center, and a training center. In addition to MBK, Daimler is represented in South Korea by the subsidiaries Daimler Trucks Korea Ltd. and Mercedes-Benz Financial Services Korea Ltd.