Chinese government allegedly bans Hyundai-Kia imports


2009 Hyundai Genesis Sedan
The Chinese government has reportedly suspended the majority of vehicle imports from South Korea following a complaint made by several Chinese dealers that Hyundai-Kia is backing its own dealer groups at the expense of independent firms. The decision comes after the filing of a petition against Hyundai-Kia made by several Chinese dealers who are complaining that the South Korean carmaker had violated anti-trust laws.

The import ban applies only to those Hyundai-Kia models imported from South Korea and will not affect the carmaker’s vehicles that are produced in China. Hyundai and Kia sell more than half a million vehicles each year in China but only about 50,000 of these are imported from South Korea. The vast majority are manufactured locally via joint-ventures with a number of Chinese firms.

A spokesman for the Chinese government confirmed to Reuters that the import permit was canceled last month and that negotiations with the carmaker were already underway to settle the issue. A Hyundai-Kia spokesman also confirmed the ban, stating that the company had not received import permits since mid-September.

The latest turn of events will come as a blow to the South Korean carmaker, which is currently in the process of positioning its Hyundai label as a premium offering in China with vehicles like the new Genesis Sedan and upcoming Coupe.

 
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