Hyundai pulls out of Japan market

As Hyundai continues to pull itself up by its bootstraps, the company is moving decisively and picking up share around the globe. However, one key market continues to be so problematic for the brand that they've decided to abandon it altogether: Japan. Rather than dodder around and wait for its disappointing performance to improve, Hyundai is tying off the bleeder that is the company's Japanese market presence. The cars themselves, either under Hyundai badging or as Kias, have become contenders in terms of styling and quality, two key indicators of the company's commitment. And the move into Japan was part of Hyundai's worldwide plan for expansion. For all its efforts, though, the famously insular market has deflected this outsider. In the eight years Hyundai has been selling vehicles in Japan, it has only managed to shift 15,000 units.

For all its efforts, 1,875 cars per year just isn't worth it to Hyundai, though it will still try to sell commercial vehicles to Japan. According to the South Korean daily, Chosun Iibo, tariffs are slapped on outsiders selling cars in Japan, and the size of some models Hyundai's been trying to market there doesn't match up with typical Japanese garages and parking spaces. Buyers who have the space for larger cars aren't the ones Hyundai's trying to nab, either. Those purchasers typically pursue higher-end metal.

Interestingly, rival Toyota might see Hyundai's move as a sort of victory. Toyota itself established a beachhead in the more-welcoming South Korean market in 2000, and has been selling thousands of vehicles there under its Lexus and Toyota nameplates. While Hyundai is giving up on Japan, Toyota's looking to move more cars than ever in South Korea.

[Sources: CNBC. Chosun]