Kia Motors’ sales tanked during Q2

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Kia Motors’ sales tanked during Q2

Kia Motors said Thursday that its net profit in the second quarter plunged 53 percent from a year earlier on weaker demand for its vehicles in China and the United States.

Between April and June, net profit declined to 389.6 billion won ($350 million) from 825.8 billion won a year earlier, the company said in a statement.

“On top of political tension with China over the installation of a U.S. missile defense system in Korea, which Beijing objects to, high U.S. incentive costs and the won’s strength against the dollar also weighed on the quarterly results,” the statement said.

Looking ahead, the country’s second-largest carmaker warned of a tough second half as sales in China and the United States are likely to remain weak throughout the year.

To offset declines in the two major markets, Kia will focus on Europe by launching its new subcompact SUV Stonic in September and the Stinger sports car in October, Kia Executive Vice President Han Chun-soo said in a post-earnings conference call.

Operating profit fell 48 percent to 404 billion won in the second quarter from 770.9 billion won a year ago. Sales were down 6 percent to 13.578 trillion won from 14.450 trillion won during the same period in 2016, it said.

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