Mitsubishi Motors temporarily halts biz in Korean market

SEOUL, July 1 (Yonhap) -- Mitsubishi Motors Corp., a Japanese automaker, has temporarily halted its operations in the South Korean market after suffering from sluggish sales here, an industry source said Monday.

According to the source, CXC, the local dealer of the Japanese automaker, has temporarily shut down operations of three showrooms in Seoul and its adjacent city.

The closure is sparking speculation that Mitsubishi Motors may consider pulling its business from the Korean market, industry watchers said.

But an official at the local distributor denied such speculation, saying that the move is a temporary halt to its operation stemming from inventory reduction.

The share of Mitsubishi accounted for a mere 0.16 percent of the Korean imported car market as of end-May, according to the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association. The automaker sold a combined 99 units of vehicles in the first five months of this year.

Currently, a total of 24 foreign brands are registered as imported cars in the South Korean auto market.

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