SEOUL, July 3 (Korea Bizwire) – Hyundai Motor Co. said Monday its sales fell 16 percent last month from a year earlier hit by weakening overseas demand, particularly in the Chinese market.
The country’s biggest carmaker by sales sold a total of 376,109 vehicles in June, down from 445,021 units a year earlier, the company said in a statement.
“Declining demand from China continued to affect the company’s monthly sales results amid a diplomatic row (between Seoul and Bejing) over the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system in South Korea,” a company spokesman said.
Domestic sales declined 12 percent year-on-year to 61,837 vehicles last month from 69,970 units a year earlier. Overseas sales were also down 16 percent to 314,272 from 375,051 during the same period, it said.
In the January-May period, Hyundai saw its sales plunge 37 percent to 266,228 vehicles in the world’s biggest auto market from 425,561 units a year earlier.
China has taken measures against tour packages to South Korea and other manufactured goods as part of its retaliation against the stationing of the THAAD system. Seoul and Washington maintain THAAD is purely aimed at countering missile threats from North Korea. But Beijing has opposed the system, arguing it could be used against it.
As the low-growth trend is expected to continue both in advanced and emerging markets, Hyundai said it will launch new models in major markets, with the Kona subcompact SUV scheduled to be launched in Europe this month.
In the January-June period, Hyundai sold a combined 2.198 million autos, down 8.2 percent from 2.394 million during that period last year, it said.