The World: Detroit - Hyundai puts Carat and Richards Group on notice

Carat and the Dallas-based creative independent agency Richards Group face losing $300 million in billings in the wake of Hyundai's decision to disband its five regional dealer groups in the US.

Richards, which held the regional dealers' creative business, and Carat, which handled media buying, retain the South Korean carmaker's national business. Under the new arrangements, both can pitch for the accounts of the smaller regional Hyundai dealerships that are springing up.

However, Richards has shut five of its regional offices that had serviced the dealers and laid off about 20 staff.

Stan Richards, the agency's founder, said: "We're sorry to see that work go away, but we'll salvage as much of it as we can."