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Hyundai's China sales increase for first time in 7 months

An employee sits in front of the logo of Hyundai Motor Co.

[SEOUL] Hyundai Motor Co's deliveries in China rose for the first time in seven months in October, helped by sales of its new Tucson sport utility vehicle and a tax cut on vehicle purchases in the world's largest auto market.

The carmaker's plant sales in China, its largest market by volume, climbed 8.5 per cent last month from a year earlier, according to an e-mailed statement on Monday. Hyundai accelerated the introduction of the new Tucson SUV and cut its price to boost demand.

China's government slashed the purchase tax on some cars by half starting Oct 1 to revitalize sales, helping pace Hyundai's biggest monthly global sales gain since December 2014. The Seoul-based automaker is counting on the tax cut and demand for its new Tucson to help boost sales in the fourth quarter, Chief Financial Officer Lee Won Hee said last month.

Deliveries from Hyundai's plants in China fell 11 per cent in the nine months through September as industrywide demand slowed amid weaker economic expansion. None of the company's models ranked among the 10-best selling SUVs in the period.

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Hyundai plans to increase the number of dealerships in China and is building two more plants to expand local output by about 57 per cent by the second half of 2016.

Shares of the automaker gained 1.6 percent at the close in Seoul trading, before it released monthly sales data. The benchmark Kospi index rose 0.3 per cent.


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