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(LEAD) Kia halts 2 domestic plants following confirmed COVID-19 cases

Industry 09:49 September 17, 2020

(ATTN: ADDS photo and details in 4th para)

SEOUL, Sept. 17 (Yonhap) -- Kia Motors Corp., South Korea's second-biggest carmaker, said Thursday it has suspended two of its domestic plants as at least eight workers have been confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus.

Kia halted the operations of two plants in Gwangmyeong, just south of Seoul, from late Wednesday and sent all of the 6,000 plant workers home, a company spokesman said over the phone.

"As of 9 a.m., eight assembly line workers were confirmed to have been infected with the virus," he said.

The company will decide on when to resume the plants' operations depending on the health authorities' guidance, the spokesman said.

Kia has eight plants in Korea -- two in Gwangmyeong, three in Hwaseong and three in Gwangju -- and seven overseas ones -- three in China and one each in the United States, Slovakia, Mexico and India. Their overall capacity is 3.84 million units.

This file photo shows Kia's Sohari plant in Gwangmyeong, just south of Seoul. (Yonhap)

kyongae.choi@yna.co.kr
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