Hyundai Motor ended up selling only 60 automobiles in Japan in July, the first month for the company after its re-entry into the country. The lower-than-expected performance convinced it of the high barrier for auto firms accessing the Japanese market, also called “the grave for imported vehicles.” However, considering that the electric vehicle market in the country is in its early stage, analyses suggest that the company comes up with mid-to-long term strategies rather than focusing on immediate results.
According to the report on the numbers of imported car registration released by the Japan Automobile Importers Association on Thursday, Hyundai Motor sold 60 cars in total last month. In Japan, it sells ‘IONIQ 5’ and ‘NEXO,’ which are its electric and hydrogen car models, respectively. Most of the cars sold are assumed to be ‘IONIQ 5.’
In February this year, Hyundai announced it will make its way into the Japanese auto market, for the second time since its first trial in 2009. The Korean automaker began taking preorders in May and delivered the cars to customers in Japan starting from July.
Hyundai put the IONIQ 5 model forward, but Japan still lacks EV-related infrastructure. This was why the number of EVs sold in the first half of 2022 stands at 17,780, 1 percent of the total 1,712,911 cars sold in Japan.
The company opened its ‘Customer Experience Center’ in Yokohama, Japan on Saturday to introduce its EV models and people’s daily lives transformed through EVs. It also signed a contract to supply 50 IONIQ 5 to MK Taxi in Kyoto, Japan. The firm is also working with the Japanese car-sharing service ‘Anyca.’ These steps show Hyundai’s efforts to build an environment where customers can experience EVs.
Customers in Japan are showing positive reactions through various channels, such as YouTube, saying that the IONIQ 5 has features better than that of Toyota’s ‘bZ4X’ or Nissan’s ‘Ariya.’ The Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency has recommended that “Hyundai Motor has to tap into the fact that Japanese customers put much importance on a product’s value that differentiates itself from others apart from price.”
Gun-Huk Lee firstname.lastname@example.org