Toyota to import cars from Europe to South Korea

Article by Christian Andrei, on February 22, 2012

Toyota may soon import cars from Europe to South Korea, a move being considered by the automaker in order to lessen its dependence on Japan amid the strengthening yen, according to Tommy H Nakabayashi, president and CEO of Toyota Motor Korea. He told reporters that Toyota Korea is “studying” a proposal to bring in products from Europe.

Toyota doesn’t have a big presence in South Korea, which is dominated by Hyundai and Kia. However, Nakabayashi said that this hasn’t dissuaded Toyota from targeting a 160% increase in local sales to 13,000 units this year. Lexus is also aiming for a 90% boost in sales to 8,000 vehicles.

Just last Tuesday, Toyota celebrated the launch of three new Prius models in South Korea. Automakers are considering alternative sources as exports from Japan are increasingly becoming less cost-competitive due to the strong yen and South Korea's bilateral trade agreements with United States and Europe.

Toyota has begun selling U.S.-built Camry sedans and Sienna minivans in South Korea. Last November, Honda's CEO said that the automaker was examining the possibility of importing cars into South Korea from the U.S. rather than from Japan.

Topics: toyota, south korea

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