China suspends Hyundai-Kia imports following anti-trust violation
Hyundai-Kia is one of just a handful of major players in China, but the South Korea-based automaker has found itself in some hot water with the Chinese government. In fact, Hyundai-Kia hasn't been allowed to import Korean-made vehicles into China since mid-September.
The revocation of Hyundai-Ki's import permits stems from a reported anti-trust law violation. Following complaints from several Chinese dealers, the Chinese government discovered that Hyundai-Kia was backing some of its dealers through independent firms. As a result, Hyundai-Kia hasn't been able to import vehicles from Korea to China since mid-September, according to Reuters.
Despite the setback, it's not the end of the world for Hyundai-Kia. While the company is based in South Korea, only about 50,000 of the 520,000 vehicles Hyundai-Kia sells annually in China are sourced from Korea. The rest are made in China through joint ventures, which have not been impacted by the permit cancellations.
However, Hyundai-Kia is trying to make the leap to a premium brand in China, so it remains to be seen if the latest events with tarnish the automakers' reputation.