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Hyundai Motor replaces China chief after supply disruption, diplomatic tensions
September 4, 2017 / 7:10 AM / 19 days ago

Hyundai Motor replaces China chief after supply disruption, diplomatic tensions

Men cylce past an advertising billboard for Hyundai cars opposite the plant of Hyundai Motor Co in Beijing, China, August 30, 2017. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea’s Hyundai Motor said on Monday it had replaced the head of its China operations - an appointment that comes on the heels of a supply disruption and as it struggles to deal with the fallout from a diplomatic row between the two nations.

Tao Hung Than, who is of Chinese descent, became CEO of Beijing Hyundai Motor on Friday, replacing Chang Won-shin, a company spokesperson said, without elaborating on the reason for the change. Chang held his job for less than a year.

Hyundai was recently forced to halt production for about a week at its joint venture with China’s BAIC Motor Corp Ltd after a fuel-tank components supplier refused to provide parts due to non-payment.

South Korean firms have also been hit by a Chinese backlash over Seoul’s decision to deploy the THAAD U.S. missile defence system to counter threats from nuclear-armed North Korea. China says the system poses a threat to its national security.

Hyundai Motor’s sales from its Chinese factories plummeted 64 percent in April-June alone.

The management changes were first reported by South Korean media over the weekend.

Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Edwina Gibbs

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