Renault Samsung Busan plant may take break

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Renault Samsung Busan plant may take break

Renault Samsung Motors is considering a temporary shutdown of its factory due to a shortage of parts caused by the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak.

The possibility came after Hyundai Motor and SsangYong Motor decided to suspend some production for the same reason. All three local automakers are having problems with supplies of wiring harnesses from China.

The Korean unit of the French automaker said Wednesday that it is reviewing a plan to close its sole automobile plant in Busan for two to three days starting next Tuesday, when Renault Samsung’s supply of wiring harnesses will run out.

A company spokesperson said the company has enough wiring harnesses for this week’s production. Wiring harnesses are bundles of electric wires inside a vehicle.

Renault Samsung’s wiring harness supplier in China is resuming operations next Monday after the Chinese government ordered to extend the Lunar New Year holidays due to the coronavirus outbreak.

But even after the supplier resumes operations, bringing its production back to normal takes a couple of days, which is prompting Renault Samsung to suspend production. The extra couple of days are expected to cause a short-term supply shortage of the parts.

As of now, Renault Samsung is planning to resume operations after the temporary shutdown, but the production break could be extended, as the virus outbreak could force Chinese factories to stay closed even longer.

Hyundai Motor suspended two production lines in Ulsan starting Tuesday and is planning to halt all lines in Korea temporarily on a staggered schedule due to shortages of parts caused by the coronavirus outbreak in China.

SsangYong Motor closed its factory in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi, from Tuesday to next Wednesday. Kia Motors reduced its production starting Monday.

BY KO JUN-TAE [ko.juntae@joongang.co.kr]

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