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Hyundai Motor to reenter Japan with green cars

Headquarters of Hyundai Motor and Kia in Seoul (Hyundai Motor)
Headquarters of Hyundai Motor and Kia in Seoul (Hyundai Motor)
South Korean carmaker Hyundai Motor is set to return to Japan’s passenger car market within the first half of the year, according to industry sources and reports Tuesday.

Hyundai’s reentry to Japan comes 13 years after its withdrawal from the market dominated by domestic carmakers.

With its enhanced eco-friendly technology, Hyundai believes that it has achieved a competitive edge to tap into the neighboring country.

The carmaker will return with its electronic car lineup, including the Nexo, a fuel cell electric vehicle, and Ioniq 5, an electric SUV, reports said.

Its green car strategy comes in response to increasing demand for electric vehicles in Japan, which like other markets around the world has been seeking to expand the use of EVs.

Under its eco-friendly drive, the Japanese government plans to have 150,000 charging stations by 2030, which is five times greater than currently.

But Japanese automakers are evaluated by the industry as having fallen behind the fully electric trend, as they have focused mostly on hybrid cars.

Hyundai has already published promotional materials for the Nexo and Ioniq 5 in Japanese.

It has also been trying to change the brand image by changing its corporate name from Hyundai Motor Japan to Hyundai Mobility Japan.

“Based on future-oriented strategies, we aim to meet customers’ expectations,” said Hyundai Motor’s Japanese subsidiary.

Market watchers say Hyundai is likely to announce its return to Japan next month or in March.

By Hong Yoo (yoohong@heraldcorp.com)
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