Sales of diesel automobiles built by local manufacturers fell more than 20 percent on year through the third quarter of 2023 amid rising preferences for electric vehicles, data showed on Sunday.

Korea’s five carmakers sold 76,367 units passenger cars over the January-September period, down from the 97,235 that were tallied a year earlier, according to data compiled by the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association.

Sales of diesel models of Hyundai Motor’s Palisade SUV nearly halved over that period to 11,693. Kia Corp, the company’s younger sibling, also saw sales of the Mohave SUV plunge 55.8 percent to 4,162.

Manufacturers are seeking to scale back shipments of diesel vehicles to align with the increasing popularity of environmentally friendly cars in the market, industry watchers said.

Hyundai recently launched its fifth-generation Santa Fe SUV but only offered gasoline and hybrid models. The company also suspended sales of the diesel versions of the Genesis G70 and G80 sedans with 2.2-liter diesel engines.

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