In the wake of news that Beijing Hyundai Motor Company, a Chinese joint-venture of Hyundai Motors, will discontinue the operation of its No.1 plant in Beijing, China in May, a Chinese state-run media pointed to the aftermath of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) issue as a cause for the automotive company’s recent sluggish sales.
Hyundai Motor is likely to shut Beijing plant amid sinking sales after suffering from weak competitiveness and being also affected by the falling appeal among Chinese consumers for South Korean brands after the country's deployment of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-missile system, The Global Times, a Chinese state-run English-language newspaper, reported Monday, citing multiple employees of Beijing Hyundai Motor.
Some say that it is unusual for the state-run media to have mentioned the link between the Korean automaker’s sales decrease and THAAD while the Chinese government has been reluctant to mention the so-called THAAD revenge.
Beijing Hyundai Motor's first-quarter sales of this year fell by 18 percent year-on-year to the lowest level since 2009. It is known that 10,000 employees working at the No.1 plant will be either dismissed or relocated to other plants. Hyundai Motor is operating a total of five plants in China, including the No.1 plant.