Hyundai Motor to reenter Japan with electric vehicles

Hyundai Motor will launch its IONIQ 5 electric vehicle and Nexo hydrogen vehicle in the Japanese market.

Hyundai Motor Co. officially announced on Feb. 8 that it would re-enter the Japanese auto market about 12 years after its withdrawal.

Hyundai Motor Chairman Chang Jae-hoon announced the re-entry into the Japanese auto market through a video message at a press conference held in Otemachi, Tokyo.

Hyundai Motor entered the Japanese automobile market in 2001, but failed to penetrate it. The company closed most of its operations in Japan at the end of 2009, excluding its commercial vehicle business.

Hyundai will receive orders for two models – the all-electric Ioniq 5 and the Nexo fuel cell SUV – from May this year. Their selling prices are set at 4.79 million yen (about 50 million won) for the IONIQ 5 and 7,768,300 yen (about 80 million won) for the Nexo.

Whether Hyundai will be able to overcome past failures and succeed in the Japanese auto market, dubbed the “graveyard for imported cars,” remains to be seen. According to automotive industry data, imported car brands account for only 5.4% of the Japanese car market, with Japanese brands accounting for the remaining 94.6%.

Hyundai Motor does not have a car sales network in Japan, so many observers say it will be difficult for the company to expand its market share in a short time.

“We don’t have a dealership in Japan,” Chang said in the video. “We will provide an online smart vehicle shopping experience that defies time and place.”

Hyundai Motor plans to establish the Hyundai Customer Experience Center in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan this summer and expand the center to major regions in Japan in the future to provide customer experience opportunities.

About Mohammed B. Hale

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