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With Hyundai gaining ground on the international stage, Toyota has decided to take the fight to the Korean automaker on its home market. Earlier this week Toyota introduced four models in South Korea: the Camry, Camry Hybrid, Prius and RAV4. The more mainstream cars join the lineup of Lexus vehicles, which Toyota Motor Corp has sold in Korea since 2001.
The challenge is a big one for Toyota as nearly 70 percent of vehicles sold in the country are either Hyundais or Kias (Kia being a division of Hyundai). Toyota’s cars will also be priced higher than its domestic counterparts, however, they will be less expensive than other Japanese vehicles (Honda and Nissan) that are already sold in the country.
Toyota expects sales volumes of just 500 units per month for the remainder of this year with an increase to 700 units next year. The company has said dealers have already accepted 1,500 orders.
In moving into the Korean market, Toyota isn’t just sending a message to Hyundai, but also to its domestic rival Honda, which holds 20 percent of the Korean import vehicle marketplace.
[Source: Korean Times]