Hyundai Motor has sold one of its plants in China as part of a business reorganization strategy in the world’s biggest auto market.

Beijing Hyundai Motor, Hyundai’s joint venture with China’s Beijing BAIC Motor, sold the Chongqing plant to an industrial park developer based in the central Chinese city for some 296 billion won ($221 million) at the end of last year, according to Hyundai Motor.

The plant with an annual capacity of 300,000 units went online in 2017, but was put up for sale in June last year amid slowing demand, reports Yonhap News Agency.

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“Hyundai Motor is trying to boost business efficiency in China and the sale is part of its efforts to improve profitability through the rationalization of production,” a company official said.

Hyundai Motor, whose sales in China reached 1.14 million units in 2016, has been suffering from slumping sales since 2017 over a diplomatic dispute between Seoul and Beijing over the deployment of a US anti-missile system in South Korea.

Hyundai Motor operated five plants in China at its peak but sold one of them, the number 1 Beijing plant, in 2021 in the wake of plunging demand. The company reportedly plans to sell its plant in the southern Chinese city of Changzhou in line with its business reorganization strategy.

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