Hyundai may be witnessing unprecedented growth around the world, but no matter an automaker’s strength, the Japanese market remains an incredibly tough nut to crack. Slow sales have seemingly prompted the South Korean automaker to withdraw from the Japanese market altogether.
Thanks to high tariffs and quotas on foreign goods — especially automobiles — entering the country, Japan isn’t exactly an easy market to tackle. As Hyundai spokesman Oles Gadacz told Automotive News, “if you’re not a Gucci or a BMW, there are very few who prosper there.”
Hyundai entered the Japanese market in 2001, and has since sold 15,095 vehicles. In contrast, Volkswagen — Japan’s leading import make — sold 61,996 vehicles in 2008 alone.
The company is currently notifying dealers of its plans to withdraw from Japan, although it may continue to sell commercial vehicles and trucks in the country.
Source: Automotive News