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Kia Motors resumes virus-hit local plants after suspension

Economy 14:35 September 23, 2020

SEOUL, Sept. 23 (Yonhap) -- Kia Motors Corp. said Wednesday that two of its eight domestic plants returned to normal operations following days of suspension due to coronavirus cases.

Kia, the country's second-biggest carmaker, halted the operations of two plants in Gwangmyeong, just south of Seoul, from Wednesday through Monday, with all of the 6,000 employees at the plants staying at home.

The No. 1 plant resumed operations Tuesday and the No. 2 plant started production Wednesday, as no more infections were reported at the plants, a company spokesman said over the phone.

This file photo shows Kia Motors Corp.'s plant south of Seoul. (Yonhap)

Eleven assembly line workers were confirmed to have been infected with the virus. The number of related cases reached 18, as their family members and acquaintances also contracted the disease, the company said.

The company did not provide the value of production losses due to the suspension. The two plants in Gwangmyeong have a combined capacity of 320,000 units a year.

Kia produces the K9 flagship sedan, the Stinger sports car and the Carnival minivan at the No. 1 plant in Gwangmyeong and the Pride subcompact and the Stonic subcompact sport utility vehicle at the No. 2 plant.

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.


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