February 03, 2015 13:19
Hyundai is drastically cutting the domestic price of the Tucson ix hydrogen fuel cell car by about 43 percent from W150 million to W85 million (US$1=W1,102).
The aim is to boost sales of the car, which have so far been dismal although hydrogen cars are tipped to replace electric cars as the top eco-choice.
Japanese carmakers including Toyota are investing massively in the sector.
"We decided to slash the car's price even if we make a loss because we can't make further investments or expand infrastructure amid dismal sales," a Hyundai spokesman said.
The firm is also minded to cut overseas prices.
In early 2013, Hyundai built a mass production system for hydrogen cars, but sales have been dismal with only a dozen sold here and some 200 overseas.
The global market is expected to grow to W350 trillion by 2030, but so far it is at a very early stage.
Toyota rolled out the Mirai hydrogen fuel cell sedan in December. It lagged behind Hyundai in terms of mass production capacity but set the price at W62.7 million, much lower than the Tucson ix.
The Japanese government gives subsidies of 2 to 3 million yen per car to anybody, be they individuals, local municipalities or corporations. It also decided to build 100 hydrogen refueling stations in major cities this year. As a result, more than 1,500 hydrogen fuel cell cars have been sold in Japan in about a month, over seven times the number of hydrogen cars Hyundai has sold.
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