Japan And America Win Korean COTY - Hyundai Fumes

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
japan and america win korean coty hyundai fumes

Usually, we are not big on COTY’s, but this one is too good to pass up. According to lore, which is sometimes parroted in the comments at TTAC, there is mutual hate between Koreans and Japanese. This did not stop Korean journalists from crowning a Japanese car as Korea’s Car of the year: The Toyota Camry. This was so momentous that Toyota Korea president Hisao Nakabayashi broke into tears when the award was presented at a Seoul hotel.

A lot of Hyundai executives would love to see Nakabayashi cry, but they missed it: Hyundai officials went on strike and did boycott the party after they were tipped-off. “We are perplexed. It would been a lot better if a Korean brand won the top prize,” a Hyundai official told the Korea Herald.

Since the Korea Car of the Year award was established by the Korea Automobile Journalist Association in 2010, Hyundai had an exclusive. In 2011, Kia Motors’ K5 took home the top prize, in 2012, it was Hyundai Motor’s i40.

The win of the Camry is also a win for American car exports. Taking advantage of a better won-dollar foreign exchange rate, and a Korea-U.S. free trade pact, Toyota imports all Camry vehicles from America to Korea.

Launched a year ago, the Camry has is the second best selling import in Korea, after the BMW’s 520d.

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5 of 20 comments
  • Lolcopterpilot Lolcopterpilot on Jan 30, 2013

    I think the big winner here is America, in that our workers build the Camry, a "Japanese" car, which is imported to Korea, to win an award as the Korean Car of the Year. U-S-A! U-S-A!

  • Hriehl1 Hriehl1 on Jan 30, 2013

    Methinks this is little more than Korean journalists sending Korean manufacturers a little message. Complacency and a sense of entitlement is a sure road to mediocrity.

  • Hifi Hifi on Jan 30, 2013

    This says more about amateurish Korean journalists than the virtues of Toyota. I'm certainly not saying Hyundai/Kia is more deserving, but for a Corolla or Camry to be named the car of the year is an absolute joke.

  • Junebug Junebug on Jan 31, 2013

    Yeah Yeah, screw Toyota, they suck, they're bland, blah blah..... It's funny, but every person I know that bought a Korean car/SUV because of style/price/great deal etc - well, after a couple years they hate it. The best story I heard the other day was my wife's friend that bought a small SUV (sorry, forgot exact model) and the plan was to give to her son when he turns 16, boy said hell no, I'd rather walk than drive that thing. She hates it too, so does her husband!