Hyundai, Kia sales in China take a hit from Thaad row

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Hyundai, Kia sales in China take a hit from Thaad row

Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors saw their combined sales in China plunge 65.1 percent last month from a year earlier amid a row over deployment of a U.S. missile defense system in Korea, auto analysts said Monday.

In May, Hyundai and Kia sold 52,485 vehicles in China, the world’s biggest automobile market. Hyundai’s sales fell 65 percent to 35,100 cars, and Kia’s declined 65.3 percent to 17,385, the analysts said.

The carmakers’ official sales data in China will be available around June 20, a Hyundai spokesman said.

The sale of Korean products has been affected by an ongoing row between Seoul and Beijing over deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system in Korea. In the January-May period, overall sales of Hyundai and Kia cars in China declined 43 percent to 376,895 vehicles compared to a year ago.

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