Hyundai Returns to Tough Japanese Market

  • By Choi Eun-kyung

    February 09, 2022 12:11

    Hyundai is targeting the Japanese market anew with eco-friendly vehicles after pulling out 12 years ago.

    Chang Jae-hoon, the CEO of Korea's No. 1 automaker, told reporters in Tokyo on Tuesday, "Hyundai hopes to help the Japanese government realize its decarbonization goals with our electric and hydrogen vehicles."

    The automaker will start taking online orders for the Ionic 5 EV and hydrogen-fueled Nexo in May and deliver them starting in July. The Ionic 5 is priced between 4.79 million and 5.89 million yen, falling to as little as 3.99 million yen with subsidies.

    The Nexo will cost W7.77 million yen but as little as W5.27 million with subsidies. That is similar to the Tesla Model 3 and Toyota's hydrogen-fueled Mirai.

    Sales will be done only online, but Hyundai plans to set up five offline customer-service centers by 2025, starting in Yokohama in July.

    Hyundai began selling the Grandeur large sedan, Sonata mid-sized sedan and Avante compact in Japan in 2001. But cumulative sales totaled a disappointing 15,000 cars by the end of 2009, prompting it to pack up and leave.

    One Japanese reporter said, "Hyundai's functionality and design both appear to have gotten much better, but the hurdles that must be overcome are that Japanese people are very proud of their own country's cars and are not used to buying a car online." 

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