From January to September, Hyundai Motor Co. and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp. sold a combined 702,017 vehicles, down from 1.2 million units from a year earlier, according to the companies' sales data.
Hyundai Motor suffered a 37-percent on-year decline at 489,340 autos in the first nine months and Kia Motors' sales plummeted 50 percent to 212,677 units, the latest findings showed.
The weak sales number for China, triggered by Seoul's decision last year to install the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system on the Korean soil, has continued to affect the carmaker's sales this year.
China has halted the sales of tour packages to South Korea since March and penalized other manufactured goods in apparent retaliation against the installation of the THAAD system.
Seoul and Washington maintain THAAD is purely aimed at countering missile threats from North Korea. But Beijing has opposed the system, arguing it could be used against it. (Yonhap)