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Kia Motors to shut down plant in China on low demand

All Headlines 09:36 June 14, 2019

SEOUL, June 14 (Yonhap) -- Kia Motors Corp., South Korea's second-biggest carmaker by sales, said Friday it will shut down one of its three plants in China this month due to a slump in sales in the world's top auto market.

The assembly line in Yancheng, Jiangsu Province, will be used by Kia's local business partner Dongfeng Yueda in a long-term lease contract, a company spokesman said.

The carmaker plans to produce vehicles such as the Sportage sport utility vehicle and the localized KX7 SUV at the plant until the end of this month, and then a unit of Dongfeng Yueda will start producing electric vehicles there in the first half of 2021, he said.

Some 1,000 workers at the 140,000-unit-a-year plant were transferred to its second plant in Yancheng, Kia said. The carmaker also has a third plant in Yancheng.

The three plants' combined capacity is 890,000 units, according to Kia.

In May, Kia's sales in China plunged 24 percent on-year to 23,170 vehicles due to lack of new models and lower demand. For the whole of 2019, it aims to sell 430,000 units in the world's biggest automobile market.

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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