[THE INVESTOR] Hyundai Motor and its sister firm Kia Motors are set to miss this year’s sales target as diplomatic tensions between Seoul and Beijing deepen, company officials said on Sept. 10.
In the first half of this year, the nation’s top two carmakers suffered a 46 percent plunge in Chinese sales compared to year ago. During the January-July period, they sold a combined 500,964 vehicles, down from 919,380 units a year earlier.
The slump came as Chinese drivers opted to buy fewer Korean-brand cars in protest against the deployment of a US-made 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 globally this year, far below their original annual sales target of 8.25.
Last year, they sold 7.88 million units, down from 8.01 million a year earlier.
By Alex Lee and newswires (firstname.lastname@example.org)