Asia is a very interesting market about which us Europeans or North Americans do not have much details. For example, who knew that until now Toyota was not present on the South Korean market, the home turf of Asian rivals Hyundai / Kia group. Well, this is only partly true. Until now, the Toyota group had not attempted to sell cars in the Toyota brand range on the South Korean market, a market where the home boys Hyundai and Kia control over 70% of the entire sales. Still, the largest automaker in the world was present on the South Korean market by establishing a local arm in 2000 and selling luxury Lexus cars starting from 2001.
For the beginning, Toyota will sell four models on the South Korean market, including the Toyota RAV4 compact SUV, the Toyota Prius gasoline-electric hybrid, the Toyota Camry and Toyota Camry Hybrid midsize sedans. We will have to see how Hyundai will react to this move, as the South Korean market is one of the most profitable markets for them. The sales of the Toyota cars will start today at five new dealerships, including three dealerships in the capital city of South Korea, Seoul.
The Japanese automaker have in plan to sell 700 cars per month starting from 2010, while until the end of the year they hope to reach a figure of 500 cars per month. Quite modest expectations to be honest, but it is just the beginning.
Yukitoshi Funo, Toyota Motor Company Executive Vice President has stated at a press conference in Seoul today that ``The introduction of the Toyota brand into South Korea is aimed to meet the diversifying needs of consumers in this growing market. We intend to make every effort to contribute to South Korean society and earn a loyal following``.
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