By Choi Kyong-ae
SEOUL, April 7 (Yonhap) -- Hyundai Motor Co. said Wednesday it has suspended a domestic plant that produces the IONIQ 5 all-electric model due to a chip shortage.
Hyundai said it will halt the operation of the No. 1 plant in Ulsan, 414 kilometers southeast of Seoul, which also produces the Kona subcompact SUV, due to lack of parts from April 7-14, a company spokesman said.
The weeklong suspension comes amid lack of semiconductor parts used in the Kona's front vehicle camera system and a problem in Hyundai Mobis Co.'s production line, which rolls out the traction motor for the IONIQ 5.
With the production suspension, the company expects 6,000 units of the Kona and 6,500 units of the IONIQ 5 in production losses.
The suspension will affect sales of the IONIQ 5, given the 3,000 preorders for the IONIQ 5 in Europe last month and nearly 24,000 preorders on Feb. 25, the first day of its domestic launch.
On Feb. 23, Hyundai unveiled the IONIQ 5, the first model embedded with Hyundai Motor Group's own EV-only electric-global modular platform (E-GMP), as it strives to morph into a future mobility solutions provider.
Hyundai was planning to launch the IONIQ 5 in Europe last month, but the parts problems delayed the launch. It plans to launch the model in the domestic market in the second quarter and in the United States and other markets later this year.
Hyundai said it is also considering halting the plant in Asan, 100 kilometers south of Seoul, due to the same reason. It manufactures the Grandeur large-size sedan and the Sonata midsize sedan in the Asan plant.
On top of the suspension plans, Hyundai reduced overtime work on weekends in the No. 3 Ulsan plant, which produces the Avante compact due to lack of electric control units (ECUs).
The carmaker is expected to cancel all overtime work in the No. 3 Ulsan plant this month due to parts problems.
Hyundai has seven domestic plants -- five in Ulsan, one in Asan and one in Jeonju -- and 10 overseas plants -- four in China and one each in the United States, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Russia, India and Brazil. Their combined capacity reaches 5.5 million vehicles.
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