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(LEAD) Hyundai replaces head of Chinese operations amid weak sales

All News 16:54 October 31, 2019

(ATTN: ADDS another appointment in 4th para, right photo)

SEOUL, Oct. 31 (Yonhap) -- Hyundai Motor Co. said Thursday it has replaced the head of its Chinese operations in a move to revive lackluster sales in the world's biggest automobile market.

Hyundai Motor has appointed Executive Vice President Lee Kwang-guk as president and as head of Hyundai Motor Group (China) Ltd. after posting years of weak sales results, the company said in a statement.

Lee, who has been in charge of domestic sales at Hyundai Motor, will begin his new job on Friday and report to Hyundai Motor Group Executive Vice Chairman Chung Euisun, it said.

The company has also named Sven Mirko Patuschka -- formerly in charge of research and development activities at Volkswagen's Chinese operations -- as head of Hyundai's R&D division in China, the statement said.

Hyundai has suffered declining sales in China since 2017, when Beijing retaliated economically against Seoul over the deployment of an advanced U.S. anti-missile defense system in South Korea.

In the January-September period, Hyundai's sales in China fell 21 percent to 443,490 vehicles from 561,152 units a year earlier.

These photos provided by Hyundai Motor show the carmaker's President Lee Kwang-guk (L) and Sven Mirko Patuschka, who will take charge of the carmaker's operations and R&D functions in China, respectively, starting Nov. 1, 2019. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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