Hyundai Motor has replaced the head of its Chinese operation, media reports said on Saturday, as it struggles to regain a foothold in the world’s biggest auto market amid a diplomatic spat between the Asian trading partners. Tao Hung Than has been named the new head of Hyundai’s China division replacing Chang Won-shin and will take up the post on Monday, Yonhap news agency and other local media outlets reported, citing the company.
Hyundai Motor officials reached by telephone could not immediately confirm the reports. Tao, who is of Chinese descent, has been instrumental in Hyundai’s entry to the Chinese market, Yonhap said.
Hyundai recently suffered a suspension of production in China stemming from a supply disruption, adding to investor concerns about the carmaker’s progress in China. It posted its smallest quarterly profit in five years for the quarter ending in June.
South Korean firms are weathering a Chinese backlash over the country’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.