Imports in South Korea of foreign luxury cars posted a double-digit fall last month as German carmaker Volkswagen's emissions-fabricating scandal sharply weakened foreign car demand, industry data showed on Tuesday.
The number of newly registered imported vehicles was 15,932 in August, down 12.5 percent from 18,200 tallied a year earlier, according to the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association (KAIDA).
Volkswagen only sold 76 vehicles last month in the South Korean market as the government banned sales and cancelled certification of tens of thousands of vehicles of the German carmaker suspected of fabricating documents on emissions tests and noise level.
Under the administrative measure taken on Aug. 2 by Seoul's environment ministry, 83,000 vehicles of 80 Volkswagen models sold here between 2009 and July 25 this year will be subject to the sales ban and the certification cancellation.
The August car sales by Volkswagen were sharply down from 3,145 units sold in the same month of last year.
Car sales of Audi, affiliated with Volkswagen, plunged 83 percent from a year earlier to 476 units in August.
However, Mercedes-Benz, another German luxury car manufacturer, sold 4,835 vehicles here last month, up 32 percent from a year ago. Demand got strong for the company's new model, The New E-Class.
Auto sales by German carmakers tumbled 35.7 percent over the year to 8,735 units in August on weak demand for Volkswagen models, but it ranked first in terms of market share.
It was followed by Japanese automakers with 2,765 units sold here, British companies with 2,034 vehicles and U.S. firms with 1,528 units.