Ford Motors plans a 50% rise of new vehicle exports to South Korea in 2012, in an attempt to wake a free trade deal, Detroit News reports.
The Dearborn company expects a 6,000 units sale in South Korea, compared to 4,184 vehicles sold in 2011.
“We are launching a number of new vehicles in Korea this year,” said Marci Williamson, a Ford spokeswoman.
“We are very excited to grow our presence in the market.”
Fusion Hybrid, Ford’s first gas-electric vehicle, will be the new product launched in South Korea. The company also offers EcoBoost versions of the Fusio, Escape and Explorer, 2013 Fusion and the Focus Diesel (Ford’s first diesel in Korea).
Until November 2011, Korea had one of the world’s most closed auto markets. That is why in 2010, the U.S. automakers exported 7,450 units, which means 0.62% of the total vehicles sold in Korea. The Korean companies exported 560,000 units to the States.
“When you look at the low volumes that Ford is planning to sell in Korea it doesn’t make any sense to build there. We are competing in making things in the United States with countries around the world,” declared David Cole, chairman emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor.