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Imported car sales surge to record high in May
SEOUL, June 5 (Yonhap) -- Sales of imported vehicles in South Korea surged to a record high in May on brisk demand for new car models, a local trade association said Tuesday.

   A total of 11,708 foreign-made vehicles were sold here last month, compared with 8,777 units sold a year earlier, according to the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association (KAIDA).

   The May figure also marks a 9.7 percent gain from the previous month, when the registration of new foreign cars hit 10,668, which was the previous record high.

   "The release of such cars as the Audi Q3, Mini Countryman diesel and Mercedes-Benz M class sport utility vehicle bolstered sales," said a KAIDA spokesperson.

   German brand BMW retained the best-selling foreign brand title in South Korea last month with sales of 2,985 units, followed by Mercedes-Benz with 1,868 cars sold and Volkswagen coming in third with 1,467. Audi posted sales of 1,280 units, with Japan's Toyota managing to sell 860.

   Sales of the four German car companies rose from the month before, while Toyota's sales fell 13.8 percent.

   In the first five months of the year, sales of foreign vehicles in the country gained 21.0 percent from a year earlier to 51,661 units, according to the association.

   yonngong@yna.co.kr
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