Korean automakers like Hyundai continue to make inroads in Japan against domestic manufactures like Toyota, Nissan, and Honda. Hyundai Motor Japan, which has been doing business in Tokyo since 2001, sells six models with its high-end Grandeur (Azera) costing a little over $29,000. However, states a salesperson, "It (Grandeur) does not pale in comparison with Japanese cars of the same class in terms of quality and equipment. But the price of the car is about 1 million yen ($8,547) less."

Quality products at low prices have also helped the automaker worldwide. According to Business Week, Hyundai Motors ranked third in global corporate brand value for 2006, just after Toyota and Honda but ahead of Nissan. South Korean auto exports to Nippon nearly quadrupled in the past ten years, as well. Hyundai alone hopes to double its sales in the country in 2006 and plans to increase its dealerships from 57 to 70 within three years.

[Source: Kyodo News via The Japan Times]