Nissan Motor has said it wants 10% of South Korea’s imported car market by 2015 after starting sales of mid-range vehicles there.


Nissan, which had previously sold only luxury Infiniti models in South Korea, began selling the Rogue crossover and Murano SUVs there while the Altima sedan and GT-R sports coupe will be available next year, the Yonhap news agency reported.


The Rogue (similar, but not identical to, the UK-made Qashqai) and Altima (built in Tennessee) are US market Nissan models.


Despite history-related anti-Japanese sentiment in South Korea, Japanese vehicles are popular among younger generations, Yonhap said.


Of the over 20 foreign brands available in Korea, three Japanese automakers – Toyota, Honda and Nissan – took more than 40% of sales in 2007 and the top 10 models included five Japanese cars.


But sales of imported cars in South Korea fell 14.3% year on year last month to 4,273 units, the first monthly drop in nearly two years, according to the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association.