Hyundai and Kia restart most of their overseas factories
Except Hyundai Motor’s plant in Brazil and a Kia Motors factory in Mexico, all of their remaining plants are now running, even though they are maintaining production at a reduced levels. Resumption of those factories is expected to help the two Korean automakers get back to where they were before the Covid-19 pandemic started.
Hyundai Motor, which has a combined capacity of 5.5 million vehicles, has seven domestic factories and 10 overseas plants, with four of them in China and the rest in the United States, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Russia, India and Brazil. The automaker restarted its U.S. plant last week, and its Brazil plant is suspended through May 26.
Kia Motors, which has the total capacity of 3.84 million cars, has eight production bases in Korea and seven overseas factories — three in China and the others in the United States, Slovakia, Mexico and India. The automaker restarted its U.S. plant last week and is planning to resume production at its Mexico plant this week.
The two automakers have been suffering as they suspended operations at all of their overseas auto assembly plants except those in China. The coronavirus outbreak also disrupted global dealership activities, which slowed sales.
For the four months of this year, the two companies, which together form the fifth-largest automaker in the world by sales, sold a total of 1.85 million cars, down 19 percent from 2.27 million cars posted in the same period a year earlier.
Hyundai Motor’s overseas sales plummeted 70.4 percent on year to 88,037 units last month, with total quarterly sales dropping below 1 million units for the first time in nine years. Overseas sales for Kia Motors for the month sharply dropped 54.9 percent to 83,855 units.
BY KO JUN-TAE [firstname.lastname@example.org]