Tesla has just registered its best month for South Korea in June, selling a total of 2,827 vehicles and bouncing back from its April and May slumps.
Its best-seller was easily the Model 3, which became South Korea’s no.2 imported car, surpassing the BMW 5-Series and Audi A6, trailing only the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, as reported by Reuters. Meanwhile, the once-dominant Hyundai saw its Kona sales drop 31% in June to 2,513 units.
According to an unnamed source, another 4,000 to 5,000 South Korean customers have the Model 3 on order. However, most of them will need to wait until at least September to take delivery.
Of course, South Korea’s generous subsidies of 12.43 million won ($10,380) for the Model 3 have certainly helped boost sales, dropping the car’s price down to under $40,000. But it’s not just that. There genuinely seems to be a national craze about the Californian EV-maker.
For instance, after Korean actor Yoo Ah-in drove his Tesla Model X while filming a reality show, there was an immediate spike in orders, said a person familiar with the matter without elaborating. Then there are the South Korean Tesla fans who go as far as to track the routes of ships bringing Teslas to Asia.
“I am not interested in cars, but I am interested in the Tesla brand and its technologies,” said Kang Sung-mo, a 39-year old Korean man who runs an advertising production agency.
Meanwhile, one of the nation’s latest trendy cocktails is a mix of HiteJinro’s Terra-branded beer and the Korean liquor ‘soju’ – together, their names are pronounced “Tesla” in Korean.