by Rose Kim at Bloomberg
Hyundai Motor Co. posted its lowest monthly plant sales in China in four years and said it would reduce prices to entice consumers in the world’s largest auto market.
Hyundai produced and sold 54,160 vehicles from its plants in China last month, down 32 percent from a year earlier. That’s the lowest monthly sales since July 2011, when the company sold 52,016 vehicles made in China, its biggest market by volume.
Weak demand in China contributed to Hyundai posting its sixth consecutive decline inquarterly profit in the three months ending in June, when plant sales in China slumped 14 percent. To help revive sales, the company said it will cut prices of sport utility vehicles, boost incentive spending and review the mix of models it offers in the country.
Carmakers are struggling to adjust to what BMW AG has called a “normalization” of a market that has grew eightfold since 2000 and passed the U.S. as the world’s biggest car market in 2009. Ford Motor Co. now sees a potential annual decline in industrywide sales in China for the first time in 17 years, while Volkswagen AG deliveries in the country dropped for the first time in a decade in the first half.
Hyundai said Wednesday it’s offered discounts of as much as 30,000 yuan ($4,800) for its its Santa Fe SUV and 20,000 yuan for the ix35, known as the Tucson in U.S. and South Korea.
The company’s shares dropped 4.1 percent to 139,500 won, the biggest decline since June 2 in Seoul trading. The benchmark Kospi index fell 0.8 percent.