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Hyundai sacks Korean sales chief amid slowing car sales

[THE INVESTOR] Hyundai Motor has sacked its domestic sales chief amid a prolonged sales slump for months on its home turf. 

The Korean auto giant replaced Kwak Jin, executive vice president overseeing the domestic sales divison, with Lee Kwang-guk, who was previously head of the Hyundai Motor Washington Office. 

Kwak has been appointed as an advisor, dropping out from the management role. 

Lee, 53, graduated from Yonsei University with a business degree and entered Hyundai Motor. He held various key positions, including the head of Hyundai Motor UK, branding strategy unit and overseas strategy unit. 

“We have decided to appoint a person with varying experience in the global market and leadership as the new head of domestic sales to increase competitiveness in the rapidly changing local auto industry,” an official from Hyundai Motor Group said. 

The reshuffle came as South Korea’s largest automaker has been hit with continued decline in domestic sales, amid an ongoing labor dispute that has lowered its production capacity and termination of tax cut on the purchase of new cars.

From January to September, Hyundai Motor sold 697,383 units in Korea, down 17.9 percent on-year. Industry watchers are concerned Hyundai’s automobile sales this year to record the first on-year drop since 1998.

By Ahn Sung-mi (
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Korea Herald daum