Hyundai Motor Co. and its sister company Kia Motors Corp. are set to miss this year's sales target as diplomatic rows with China deepen, company officials said Sunday.
In the January-July period, Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors, two key affiliates of South Korea's Hyundai Motor Group, posted a 46 percent on-year slump in sale with total being bought by customers in China standing at 500,964 vehicles from 919,380 units a year earlier.
The slump came as Chinese consumers opted to buy fewer South Korean vehicles in protest against the deployment of an advanced U.S. missile defense system, called THAAD, in Korea, which they see as running counter to their security interests.
Hyundai and Kia are expected to sell less than 7 million cars in global markets this year, far lower than their original annual sales target of 8.25 million, according to Hyundai officials and industry people.
Last year, they sold 7.88 million units, down from 8.01 million a year earlier.
The two, which together form the world's fifth-biggest carmaker by sales, have eight plants in China with a combined capacity of 2.65 million units.
They aimed to sell 1.95 million cars in China this year, but they are widely expected to sell fewer than 1.3 million units due to political and diplomatic tensions between the two countries. (Yonhap)