SEOUL, KOREA — As of now, The Japanese automotive brand Toyota, has no plant in South Korea, but is currently planning on importing cars from outside Japan to sell in its neighboring country. As of now, Toyota has small influence in South Korea, and must compete against local Korean rivals Hyundai and Kia.
Toyota Korea Chief Executive Tommy H. Nakabayashi stated “Japan has been selling American-made cars in Korea since last year and are in the process of creating a plan to do the same with its vehicles made in Europe, but no decision has been made yet.” Nakabayashi also stated “it aimed to boost local sales by 160 percent to 13,000 vehicles this year, and Lexus sales by 90 percent to 8,000 vehicles.”
As of Tuesday, Toyota added three new Prius models in South Korea. The Japanese yen has remained strong among the debt in North America and Europe. This being said, more non-Japanese Toyotas are expected to arrive in South Korea. Since rising oil prices make the demand less for larger vehicles, “Toyota may bring in small-sized diesel sedans from Europe,” said Jeff Lee, an analyst at NH Securities.
Toyota has already started to sell US-made Camry sedans and Sienna minivans in South Korea, and Honda's CEO said in November that the automaker was considering importing cars into South Korea from the United States instead of Japan. In fact a Toyota Korea spokesman said with relevance to the new Camry, “we are ready to cooperate with local companies if they help lower costs and satisfy local customers’ needs."