Hyundai Motors to struggle in Chinese market…Market share at 10th place barely
Ye Jin Soo | jinye@ | 2018-03-14 11:14:23

Hyundai Motor has been struggling in the Chinese market this year after last year. Hyundai Motor was out of the top 10 in the Chinese passenger car market in February this year in response to rising competitiveness of local Chinese automakers and aggressive marketing based on Japanese automakers` enthusiasm.

Poor performance of Hyundai in the Chinese market is due not only to the negative sentiment stemming from the deployment of the high-altitude missile defense system (THAAD), but also because of structural changes in the Chinese auto market and differences in Japanese brands and competitiveness.

According to the KOTRA Beijing Trade Center, sales of `Beijing Hyundai` and `Dongfeng Yinda Kia` dropped by 31.3% and 36.6%, respectively, to 785,000 and 360,000, respectively,

A representative of KOTRA stated, "The mistake of product line adjustment, such as lack of sports utility vehicles (SUVs) preferred by Chinese consumers in addition to the worsening relations between Korea and China last year.”

Despite signs that the THAAD problem will be resolved, Hyundai Motor`s Chinese sales still remain sluggish. Beijing Hyundai Motor`s sales volume in February fell 41.5 % year-on-year to 30,800 vehicles, ranking 12th, according to the nationwide passenger car information market. Hyundai`s market share in China in February was 2.52 %, the lowest level since last March when it was hit by sardine retaliation. Beijing`s market share in China was 2% in March last year but surpassed 3% in September. Hyundai`s January sales of Chinese cars also fell 6.2 % year on year to 7,500. Kia Motors, meanwhile, sold 20,619 units in China last month, up 7.3 % from the same month last year.

Hyundai Motor`s sales decline in China is affected not only by KRW appreciation and yen appreciation but also by price competitiveness of SUVs and the rapid growth of Chinese auto makers. Beijing Hyundai Motor was out of the top 10, while Geo Motors was in fifth place, including Chinese automakers such as Changan Automobile, Changchung Automobile and Shanghai Automobile. Despite a 0.3% decline in China`s car sales last month, Geo-Motors sold 100,918 units in February, up 54.1% from a year earlier.

Japanese companies are also increasing their market share in China based on the yen. Dongfeng of China and Nissan of Japan, Dongfeng Nissan jointly chasing Hyundai, which last February, rallied to sixth place in February this year. Guangzhou Honda was also ranked 10th.

As in Korea, SUV competitiveness is playing a bigger role in China. Hyundai`s small-size SUVs in China are also said to be price-competitive. China`s SUV sales last year exceeded 10 million units for the first time, reaching 10.25 million units. An industry official said, "China`s artificial intelligence (AI) and information technology (IT), which are rapidly developing, are also empowering local automakers in China." While the quality gap between foreign and Chinese companies has narrowed, The prices of SUVs on the upswing are much cheaper than those of the domestic makers."

By Hyundai Motor has been struggling in the Chinese market this year after last year. Hyundai Motor was out of the top 10 in the Chinese passenger car market in February this year in response to rising competitiveness of local Chinese automakers and aggressive marketing based on Japanese automakers` enthusiasm.

By Ye Jin Soo jinye@


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