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In recent months, it seems that South Korean buyers have been increasingly less enamored with hybrid vehicles... at least when it comes to buying them. In February, nationwide sales of hybrids dipped to only 591 units, a mere 0.5 percent market share.

The Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade (KIET), a state-run South Korean think tank, said this past week that South Korea will enter the hybrid car market in a big way in 2011 and then continue to play a big role in the global hybrid market. As you can guess from the links below, there has been movement in this direction for a while, especially by Hyundai/Kia, but Asia Pulse said that earlier reports were hinting at a 2010 start date. KIET cited the added cost of making hybrids a

2010 is the year that hybrids will become the "market standard", according to Kim Min-jin, chief of Hyundai Motor's hybrid research lab and senior vice president of Hyundai. In order to catch up with Japanese automakers in hybrid technology, Hyundai has asked the Korean government to give subsidies to Korean hybrid manufacturers and purchasers. The Korea Times says that Korean car companies are about 10 years behind the Japanese automakers in hybrid technology. Both the Japanese and U.S. governm