Hyundai will exit the consumer vehicle market in Japan, after eight years.
While unexpected, the move is not surprising considering Hyundai has only sold 15,095 vehicles in Japan since 2001. For comparison, Volkswagen sold 61,996 vehicles in 2008 alone.
The company declined to cite a reason for the lackluster sales, but Japan's automotive market is relatively small and Hyundai never overcame the stereotype of making "cheap Korean cars."
According to spokesman Oles Gadacz, "If you're not a Gucci or a BMW, there are very few who prosper there (in Japan)," He added, "Mass-market players have it very tough."
Despite exiting the consumer market, Hyundai will continue to sell commercial vehicles in the country. However, that business hasn't been terribly successful either as Hyundai has only managed to sell 43 Universe buses since 2006.