SHANGHAI, April 19 (Reuters) - Hyundai's China joint venture
is facing "severe challenge" due to a complex political and
economic environment and tough local competition, the firm's
chairman said on Wednesday, amid a political stand-off between
China and South Korea.
Xu Heyi, chairman of Beijing Hyundai, a joint venture
between South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co and BAIC
Motor Corp Ltd, was speaking at the Shanghai autoshow.
Hyundai and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp saw
combined China sales slump 52 percent in March from a year
earlier, hit by anti-Korean sentiment over the planned
deployment of a U.S. missile defence system outside Seoul.
"At the moment given the complicated political, economic and
competitive market environment, Beijing Hyundai faces what we
can describe as severe market challenges," said Xu, adding the
firm would not slow its pace of innovation in the market.
(Reporting by Brenda Goh; Writing by Adam Jourdan)