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Hyundai, Kia post steep 2017 sales declines
Automotive News China | 2018/1/23

Hyundai Motor Co. and affiliate Kia Motors posted steep sales slumps in China last year as consumers boycotted leading Korean brands amid a diplomatic spat.

Sales at Beijing Hyundai Motor Co. fell 31 percent to 785,006 in 2017, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. Deliveries at Dongfeng Yueda Kia plunged 45 percent to 360,006. 

Beijing Hyundai is a joint venture between Hyundai and BAIC Motor Group Co., while Dongfeng Yueda Kia is a three-way joint venture between Kia, Dongfeng Motor Corp. and local investment company Jiangsu Yueda Investment Co.

The two joint ventures ran into trouble last May after South Korea decided to deploy a U.S.-built anti-missile defense system. The decision triggered a diplomatic dispute and anti-Korean sentiment spiked in China.

Hyundai and Kia sales began to stabilize late in 2017 after bilateral relations between China and South Korea improved and the two automakers introduced new models. 

But poor results in December indicate the recovery is not complete. Deliveries at Beijing Hyundai declined 17 percent year on year to 120,638 while sales of Dongfeng Yueda Kia dropped 29 percent to 54,821.

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