Beijing Hyundai cuts asking price for Chongqing auto plant by 30%

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Beijing Hyundai Motor has cut the minimum asking price for its auto plant in the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing by almost 30% to 2.58 billion yuan ($353.38 million) after putting it up for sale in August.

The price cut for the plant, a joint venture between South Korea’s Hyundai Motor and Beijing Automotive Group Co, was disclosed in a filing on the China Beijing Equity Exchange late last month.

Beijing Hyundai Motor is selling the land use rights, equipment and other facilities belonging to its plant as the South Korean automaker rejigs its strategy in China amid fierce price competition and slowing demand. The original asking price was 3.68 billion yuan, and the statement did not give a reason for the reduction.

Hyundai did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.

The Chongqing plant started production in 2017 with an annual capacity of 300,000 cars, and the decision to sell it came after Hyundai said in June that it would further restructure its China business to focus on profitability.

Hyundai had five plants in China at its peak and sold one of them in 2021. It plans to eventually operate just two where it will optimise production and use them for exports to emerging markets.

Rivalries in China’s automobile market, the world’s largest, have intensified as automakers struggle with weakening demand, deepening price competition.

Tesla has been the outlier among foreign brands in terms of its performance in China, with the U.S. automaker’s share of China’s electric vehicle market almost doubling in August to 13.2% from 7.5% in July.

($1 = 7.3010 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Brenda Goh and Zhang Yan; Additional reporting by Joyce Lee in Seoul; Editing by Jamie Freed)