Type the text hereSouth Korea's No. 1 automaker Hyundai Motor and its affiliate Kia Motors were feared to face a 40 percent drop in exports to Brazil due to the South American country's recent steps to protect local carmakers from cheap imports, the trade ministry said Wednesday.
"Brazil's government has recently lifted the so-called industrial products tax on carmakers in a bid to protect its auto industry from a rally in the real. Shipments by Hyundai and Kia to Brazil are expected to decrease by 40 percent due to the increased tax," Lee Si-hyung, the nation's deputy trade minister, said in a weekly briefing.
Brazil raised last month the tax on vehicles using less than 65 percent of auto parts produced locally by 30 percentage points as part of efforts to stop a surge in car imports caused by the appreciating local currency. The tax hike would be effective until the end of 2012.
Lee noted Hyundai was building its auto manufacturing plant with a production capacity of some 150,000 units per year in Brazil, but warned Hyundai and Kia were expected to be hit hard by the tax increase as the plant construction was scheduled to be completed by the end of next year.
Hyundai's exports to Brazil allegedly stood at around 80,000 vehicles per year on average, with Kia's shipments to the South American country reaching an annual average of 60,000 units.