UPDATE : 2019.11.12 TUE 09:48
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Hyundai Motor considers suspending China plant amid weak sales

Hyundai Motor Co., South Korea's top automaker, said on Mar. 6, 2019 that it is reviewing an option to suspend one of its five plants in China to counter a slump in its sales in the world's largest auto market.

"We are reviewing a set of measures for plant operations in China to stay competitive and secure profitability," Hyundai Motor said in a statement.

The automaker said it is considering the suspension of one of its three plants in Beijing. The plant can produce up to 300,000 units annually.

Beijing Hyundai Motor Co., a joint venture set up between Hyundai Motor and BAIC Motor Corp. in 2002, operates five plants in China, with an annual output capacity of 1.65 million units.

The automaker did not fix the date for the operation suspension, but it could take place next month, industry sources said.

Beijing Hyundai has been suffering a decline in sales in the face of a diplomatic row between South Korea and China and growing competition with Chinese and foreign rivals.

Its sales in China reached some 790,000 units last year, down from 820,000 units in 2017.

Beijing Hyundai saw its sales in China hover above 1 million units between 2013 and 2016.

In the first two months of the year, Beijing Hyundai's sales in China also plunged 26.7 percent on-year to reach slightly over 70,000 units.

In order to counter a fall in sales in China, the automaker has been making inroads into Southeast Asia and other emerging markets.

Hyundai Motor currently operates a plant with an output capacity of 700,000 units in Chennai, India, and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp. is also building a plant in India which produces 300,000 units.

In January this year, Hyundai Motor said it will also set up a joint venture with a Vietnamese company to boost sales in the emerging market. (Yonhap)

Park Byung-uk  edt@koreapost.com

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