Toyota is being accused of employing a dual pricing system with its Lexus luxury-car brand, selling the vehicles for much higher prices here than in the United States.
The Lexus ES350, for example, is over twice as expensive here than in the United States, the Korean Times reports.
The phenomenon is being blamed on a) Toyota and b) Gangnam consumers who are accused of not just tolerating higher prices, but actually preferring them.
Interestingly enough, Korean cars appear slightly cheaper in the U.S. market as well—the basic model Hyundai Azera goes for 24,535 U.S. dollars in the United States, while in Korea, the base model Grandeur (same car, different name) goes for 26 million won, or 28,000 U.S. dollars. Strange, given that the cars (the Azera, anyway) are built here and then shipped to the United States. Of course, it could just be that the Korean basic model has more stuff—I didn’t check the specs that carefully. Or it could just be another case of neo-mercantilism. Or perhaps Hyundai is doing the same thing as Lexus—playing into the fixation of the “Gangnam consumer” with price tags. You decide.