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(LEAD) Hyundai to launch Kona Electric, IONIQ 5 N in Japan

Economy 16:15 May 16, 2023

(ATTN: UPDATES with details in paras 4-8)

SEOUL, May 16 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co. said Tuesday it will introduce two all-electric models in Japan by early next year in efforts to gain a share in the neighboring market.

Hyundai Motor plans to launch the Kona Electric this fall and the high-performance IONIQ 5 N model early next year, the company said in a statement.

In May last year, Hyundai reentered the Japanese market 12 years after leaving Japan due to poor sales, as rising demand for all-electric vehicles offers new opportunities in the market dominated by Toyota Motor Corp.

Hyundai advanced into Japan in 2001 but pulled out of the neighboring market in 2009 after selling a mere 15,000 gasoline cars during its first foray.

Hyundai seeks to provide sustainable mobility to the market under the motto of Progress for Humanity. Japan is the market from which the company has to learn and into which the company has to explore, Hyundai Chief Executive Chang Jae-hoon said in February.

Hyundai has sold the Nexo hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle and the IONIQ 5 midsize crossover through an online-only sales platform, without dealerships.

The company has sold a total of 708 units of the two zero-emission models in Japan since last year through April.

It launched the IONIQ 5 in Japan to compete against two local battery-powered models -- Toyota Motor Corp.'s bZ4X SUV and Nissan Motor Co.'s Ariya SUV.

The maker of Sonata sedans and Palisade SUVs has launched the Hyundai Assurance Program to better serve Japanese customers.

Under the program, buyers of Hyundai's zero-emission models in Japan can receive regular checkups for three years, as well as about 1 million won (US$750) in cash for exterior repairs, the statement said.

This file photo provided by Hyundai Motor shows the IONIQ 5 all-electric model. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

This file photo provided by Hyundai Motor shows the IONIQ 5 all-electric model. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


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