Hyundai, Kia extend domestic plant suspensionsHyundai Motor and its affiliate, Kia Motors, said Monday they will extend the suspension of their domestic plants due to disrupted exports amid the new coronavirus outbreak.
Kia will suspend the No. 2 plant in Gwangju from June 25 to 30 as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to drive down overseas demand, a company spokesman said.
Kia suspended the No. 2 Gwangju plant three times between April 27 and June 5 to control inventories. The No. 2 Gwangju plant produces the Sportage SUV and the Soul boxcar, but coronavirus lockdown restrictions in the United States and Europe have blocked vehicle exports from Korea.
Kia suspended its No. 1 plant in Gwangmyeong, just south of Seoul, from June 1-2 and is halting the plant from Monday to Tuesday. The company halted its No. 2 Gwangmyeong plant from June 1-3 and plans to halt it from Monday to Wednesday.
The No. 1 plant churns out the Carnival minivan, the Stinger sports car and the flagship K9 sedan, while the No. 2 plant produces the Pride compact and the Stonic subcompact sport utility vehicle. The two plants were suspended from April 27-29 due to the same reasons.
Hyundai halted some assembly lines at its No. 3 and 4 plants in Ulsan from June 1-5 and plans to suspend the lines from Wednesday to Friday.
Hyundai's No. 1 plant in Ulsan was also suspended on Friday and Monday, the spokesman said.
Hyundai's affected vehicles include the Kona subcompact SUV, Veloster subcompact, Venue subcompact, the Ioniq electric and hybrid cars.
Hyundai and Kia suspended most of their overseas plants from March amid virus fears. All of their overseas plants returned to operations early this month, though not in full production.
From January to May, Hyundai's sales fell 26 percent to 1,288,629 vehicles from 1,748,911 units a year earlier. Kia's fell 15 percent to 949,860 from 1,116,782 during the same period.
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