China is again issuing import licenses toMotor Co. Ltd. and Kia Motors Corp. following a 6-week suspension while complaints against Kia by retailers were investigated, a Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group source tells Ward’s.
“We had a large enough supply of vehicles in China, so there was virtually no impact,” the source says.
“We knew they would begin issuing the permits again. It was a matter of government agencies exploring dealer charges that Kia was forcing them to accept more vehicles than they wanted.” Kia dealers, through the China Automobile Dealers Assn., complained they were being pressured to take additional vehicles from the auto maker, even though they already had bloated inventories.
was not implicated in the charges, but the import restriction was applied to both auto makers.
“Our (completely built-up) export sales in China are a very small portion of overall sales and the impact was minimal,” a Kia spokesman tells Ward’s. “However, (the) reversal of (China’s) decision not to issue us with import permits is definitely good news.
“There was obviously some operative effort made with our dealers to resolve this matter, but we are not ready to disclose any specifics.”