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Hyundai Motor braces for Tesla’s entry into Korea

[THE INVESTOR] Hyundai Motor plans to open two showrooms just southeast of Seoul next month in a bid to brace for Tesla Motors’ entry into the local market, industry sources said Aug 5.

Tesla is set to launch its first South Korean dealership in a new shopping mall in Hanam later this year in an effort to sell its globally famous electric vehicle models to local customers.

Hyundai Motor's IONIQ Electric.
Hyundai Motor's IONIQ Electric.

According to the sources, Hyundai is scheduled to set up the showrooms in the same shopping mall in September when the mall is dedicated -- one for its Ioniq green car and the other for its luxury Genesis brands.

The Ioniq showroom will feature the Ioniq line, which includes the firm’s first pure electric vehicle built on a dedicated platform. In addition to the electric version, the Ioniq also comes as plug-in hybrid and traditional hybrid models.

The Ioniq Electric is known to be capable of traveling up to 191 kilometers on a single charge, which is better than the 100 km range of other EVs on sale here.

It will be Hyundai’s first Ioniq showroom aimed at helping the public know more about the brand and the advantages of electric vehicles. The envisioned Genesis showroom will also be the first of its kind.

Hyundai’s move is seen as a countermeasure against Tesla’s plan to open its dealership by November. Tesla is widely expected to display its EV models and begin sales as soon as the government authentication process is completed.