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Nissan to pull out from South Korea

Nissan Korea CEO Huh Sung-joong poses with the all-new Nissan Altima at the Seoul Motor Show 2019. (Nissan Korea)
Nissan Korea CEO Huh Sung-joong poses with the all-new Nissan Altima at the Seoul Motor Show 2019. (Nissan Korea)

Japanese carmaker Nissan said Thursday that it has decided to shut down its business operations in South Korea from 2021, as part of its global business restructuring strategy.

According to its local unit, the decision was made by the headquarters to “secure a healthy profit model and establish a ground for sustainable business.”

The automaker said despite its efforts to sustain business in Korea, the situation has deteriorated due to internal and external factors.

“(The headquarters) decided that it is difficult to secure a sustainable business model in the country,” Nissan Korea said in a statement.

The company said the business operations will cease at the end of December, but customer and after sales service for vehicle quality guarantee and equipment management will continue until 2028.

Nissan entered the Korean market in 2004, mainly selling cars under its flagship luxury brand Infiniti. Other models like X-trail, Altima and Leaf also gained popularity.

But rumors have circulated about an imminent exit since summer last year, when the Japanese carmaker’s sales were among the hardest hit by an escalating diplomatic and trade row between Tokyo and Seoul.

Since August 2019, the sales of Japanese cars in Korea have more than halved from a year ago as a wave of public anger led to boycotts of Japanese products.

By Kim Da-sol (ddd@heraldcorp.com)

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