Wednesday, August 12, 2020

South Korea July 2020

 35소 5960, Tesla Model 3 , License plate of South Korea

Tesla Model 3 leads in Korea

The South Korean plugin market is showing positive numbers (+7% YoY), with over 22.000 units, with the PEV share now at 2%.

This good performance is mostly due to the Tesla Model 3, that stole the Hyundai Kona EV leadership last March, being the new Best Selling EV from then on, although since then its market share has decreased from 45% in March, to the current 31%.

Besides being removed from the throne, the Korean crossover saw its sales drop 45% YoY, with the Czech Hyundai factory now making units for Europe, Hyundai now has more space to allocate volume to its domestic market, so if the Kona EV numbers do not increase as the year progresses, it will mean that Hyundai has a demand problem. At home.

Elsewhere, the Kia Niro EV is the new 3rd placed, having surpassed the Chevrolet Bolt. 

Finally, the Tesla sports sedan is not the only foreigner to shine, as the BMW 530e is #5 and is closing in on the #4 Chevy Bolt.

A final mention to the Hyundai Nexo Fuel Cell model, a model that is seeing its registrations jump this year, to 3.312 units, making it a success story in Korea, a unique event for a FCEV, allowing the technology to have 0,31% share of the total market, a world best for Fuel Cells.


  1. Wow, the third best selling alternative powertrain in SK is the Nexo...are people buying them, or leasing them, are these private buyers, or fleets? I've also got to wonder how the refueling infrastructure is handling this.

  2. Still just 2%, despite the extremely generous subsidies...

    I guess having the market dominated by just 1 1/2 domestic makers, which only offer a handful of EV models, isn't exactly helpful.

    And the intention to cut out Tesla buyers from the subsidies going forward, in a gross display of rampant protectionism, won't be helping either.

    1. This is exactly what I told about Japan earlier which is even worse where Tesla sold < 1.400 vehicles in whole of 2019.

      Rampant display of protectionism, nationalism and trade warfare.
      Time for USA to levy tariffs on both Japanese & Korean vehicles.

    2. Does Japan have onerous tariffs or other artificial hurdles though, or is it just consumer preference in their case?...

      The issue here is that clearly Koreans, for once, *want* to buy the foreign model -- and now politics are getting involved...

  3. DoggydogworldAugust 12, 2020

    Hyundai pre-COVID had hoped to outsell Model 3 in Europe, now they're trailing even in their home country. Ouch!

    1. Maarten VinkhuyzenAugust 13, 2020

      Hyundai has still no notion of the demand for BEV.
      Not in Europe and not in South-Korea.

      Thinking that an extra 35,000/year in Europe could make them #1 shows that. It is less than Model 3 and Zoé did in H1 during Covid-19 crises.

      Hyundai still thinks that the future is Hydrogen Fuel Cells. Probably the reason to put BEV in a separate brand and keeping the main brand clean for the HFCEV future.

    2. Yeah, Hyundai/Kia constantly getting "surprised" by BEV demand... For how many years now? Three?

    3. The "Hyundai-Kia models are great, but good luck finding one" mantra is as relevant today, as it was in 2015...

  4. Do you have the July data?

  5. This whole FEV game is to discourage people from buying BEVs. Besides Koreans are experts in building LNG tanker ships and they are probably hoping to build some Liquified Hydrogen tanker ships if FEVs become popular.

    Its ok for that segment to prosper, but at the expense of petrol/diesel powered vehicles and not in the place of BEVs.