The South Korean carmaker that hopes to become the fifth largest in the world by 2009 has come to realize that sales volume isn't everything. Hyundai's CEO Kim Dong Jin has told Bloomberg News that the company's profits cannot be sustained unless it can also charge premium prices. At the moment consumers are cool with paying thousands less for a Hyundai than a comparable Japanese model, especially considering that safety, reliability and vehicle design has been improving year after year without significant increases in price. It's unclear at what point in Hyundai's ascension it will be able jack up the sticker price and maintain its strong sales, although we imagine it won't be for some time. Image is everything and Hyundai will have to continue working hard to produce vehicles desirable for something other than their sticker price if it hopes to be charging Toyota prices anytime soon.
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