SEOUL, Oct. 4 (Korea Bizwire) — Hyundai Motor Co. and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp. said Friday their combined sales in China plunged 16 percent in the January-August period amid little sign of a recovery.
In the first eight months, Hyundai and Kia sold a total of 555,943 vehicles in China, down from 662,442 units in the year-ago period, their sales data showed.
Hyundai’s sales fell 22 percent to 376,441 units from 481,122 during the same period, while Kia’s were down 1 percent to 179,502 from 181,320, the data said.
In China, the two have been suffering declining sales due to increased competition and lack of new models, though political tensions between Seoul and Beijing caused by the deployment of an advanced U.S. missile defense system, called THAAD, in South Korea in 2017 have since eased.
In the second quarter, the carmakers reorganized their production in China to avoid any excessive inventory amid sluggish sales.
Hyundai shut down its No. 1 Beijing plant, one of five in China whose combined capacity reaches 1.65 million vehicles. Kia also halted production at one of its three plants whose capacity is 890,000 units.
The carmakers said they do not expect any meaningful rebound in sales in the world’s biggest automobile market for the time being.