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Discussion Starter #1
I just heard an astonishing fact: there are 31 R35s built for the Korean market and they've just hit the showroom floors.

Half of them had deposits on them. But when they arrived and the cars priced at $30,000 more than was anticipated, EVERY single pre-order pulled their deposit (under Korean law, deposits are fully refundable). So no cars were delivered when the model was launched, and they're all waiting for walk-in buyers (the truly serious R35 buyers have already brought in their cars grey market from Japan over a year ago).

No wonder they keep calling me asking if I'm interested in buying!

Mitsubishi Korea is also in a world of hurt. Their lineup is the Evo X and the Eclipse, nothing else. They've managed to sell THREE Evos in 2009.

With the exchange rate, R35s are £75,000 fully optioned in Seoul. If someone REALLY wants an R35 like right now, they could fly into Seoul and pick one up on the spot in any color except red. It's be LHD though, and a £20,000 premium seems a bit steep.

Well, that probably explains why none have sold! For that price, people who had put down deposits went German and saved a few grand - M3s, etc.
 

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I suspect it's partly an anti-Japanese thing. One of those moody times.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
actually, it's the halo car pricing. Basic cars cost about as much in Korea as they do in the EU (but more expensive than the States of course). But once you start moving up into the special top of the line models, the price will soar to double - a BMW 320i costs the same in Germany as it does here, but a 760i costs more than twice as much.

Bentley, btw, made a killing when they entered the market here two years ago. By marking up their cars only around 30% more than the EU price, the cars were suddenly in direct price competition with Mercedes S-Class (which have a 110% markup). So suddenly there are Bentleys all over the damned place.

It may seem unfair, but Koreans directly measure value with price. If you could buy an S-Class for a mere £75,000...it would feel too cheap, and it would also lose exclusivity. On top of that, none of the foreign marques have anything to gain by pricing competitively. They have to in the States, because there's a very large upper middle-class segment. But that's not the case here - if you can afford £75,000, you can afford £200,000, and by halving the price you would only minimally increase sales while, of course, halving your gross revenue on the big ticket cars. These cars are Veblen goods - the higher the price, the more you sell.

It has worked with Lexus and to a lesser degree, Infiniti. However, Honda, Nissan, and Mitsubishi do not carry the cachet of "Bentley" or "Maserati". Since no one except enthusiasts give a rat's ass about the GT-R, old and new, they made what I think is a mistake to try to price it as BMW prices their M6 (which is, incidentally, about the same price as the R35 in Korea). Damned few Koreans would choose an R35 over an M6, and those that would, already have.

The Korean market for expensive cars is interesting to watch, because, despite Korea's overall wealth, it still sits in the hands of the few. The Audi R8, of which many sold last year, took a huge nosedive the day the V10 version was announced. Where the car cost £100,000 new, used models with 5000-7000 miles on them can be easily picked up for £65,000. Those are 2008 models, mind you! The R8 btw is one of the current exotics that I really respect and like. If the used price goes south of £50K I've half a mind to pick one up and then add GT3 bodykit and supercharger for £10K more. There are a couple Lysholm screwcharger kits that bolt on and with a mere 0.5 bars of boost, bring the engine from 420 to 560bhp. That's my option if I ever turn into a pussy and want civilized performance versus the jolting and rude experience of riding in an R32...
 

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Tobie.. here the "locals" go for a badge.. They would prefer to buy "BMW", "AUDI", second hand Ferrari or Lambos... they wouldn't even consider spending well over 75,000 pounds to have a "Nissan" badge on their collection... pathetic really. Well how many "pure enthusiasts" are there in Seoul, I often wonder!?
 
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