Surprise: U.S. Will Export Cars To Korea. Wait Until You Hear Which Ones

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

The US-Korean (not quite) free trade agreement will bear fruit, and U.S. cars will be shipped to Korea. The funny part is: Some of the first companies to do so are Japanese. The Nikkei [sub] writes that Toyota will begin exporting cars from the U.S. to South Korea in early November.

According to the Nikkei story, Toyota will send its Sienna minivan on the long trip across the Pacific instead of shipping it from nearby Japan. The yen has become so expensive that it’s cheaper to ship Siennas from Indiana to Seoul.

It won’t be a huge business: Toyota plans to export about 50 Siennas a month to South Korea, says The Nikkei.

Bertel Schmitt
Bertel Schmitt

Bertel Schmitt comes back to journalism after taking a 35 year break in advertising and marketing. He ran and owned advertising agencies in Duesseldorf, Germany, and New York City. Volkswagen A.G. was Bertel's most important corporate account. Schmitt's advertising and marketing career touched many corners of the industry with a special focus on automotive products and services. Since 2004, he lives in Japan and China with his wife <a href=""> Tomoko </a>. Bertel Schmitt is a founding board member of the <a href=""> Offshore Super Series </a>, an American offshore powerboat racing organization. He is co-owner of the racing team Typhoon.

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  • Psarhjinian Psarhjinian on Nov 02, 2011

    Do they even make Siennas in Japan? I mean, yes, they could ship over the Estima from Japan, but it's right-hand drive only, no? I assume it's cheaper to ship the Sienna than to either spool up to make it in Japan, or to convert the Estima?

    • See 2 previous
    • KalapanaBlack KalapanaBlack on Nov 03, 2011

      @84Cressida Hell, they exported the Avalon to Japan. As the Avalon (first gen) then Pronard (second gen).

  • Wsn Wsn on Nov 02, 2011

    What they really need to do is lobbying a free trade between China and South Korea. That way, they can simply ship left hand drive cars from a nearby port, like TianJin.