SEOUL, Jan. 17 (Yonhap) -- The Korean units of BMW and Mercedes Benz are expected to compete for this year's bestseller title, with the former hoping to reclaim the crown, industry officials said Tuesday.
BMW has gotten off to a good start, receiving more than 1,000 pre-orders in a week for the 7th generation 5 series due out in South Korea in mid-February. The latest model is semi-autonomous, is about 100 kilograms lighter and has better stated fuel efficiency, the company has said. The local unit is offering a promotional package on installment payments, lease and one-year warranty free of charge.
The price of the new model ranges between 66.3 million won (US$56,162) and 87.9 million won.
More than 7.6 million of BMW's 5 series have been sold across the globe since its debut in 1972. The launch of its new generation in Korea, initially scheduled for spring, has been pushed up by about a month as the company competes with its German colleague and rival Mercedes Benz. Last year, BMW handed over the best-selling foreign car title in Korea to Mercedes for the first time.
Mercedes Benz was able to claim the title with its new E-class released in June last year. It sold 56,343 cars over the year, outdoing BMW's 48,459.
After a series of overturns, BMW's 520d ended up the bestseller among foreign cars with 7,910 cars sold, followed by 6,169 of E-300 from Mercedes Benz.