Hyundai Motor Group on Tuesday said production at half of its overseas vehicle assembly plants had been suspended due to the COVID19 coronavirus.

The automaker halted production at six of its 10 overseas plants, including factories in the US, Czech Republic, Turkey, Russia, India and Brazil.

The brand's global capacity is 5.5m units. 

The company suspended production at its plant in Alabama on 18 March where an infected worker subsequently died of virus.

The plant is currently scheduled to reopen next Monday, although this is subject to change given the sharp decline in overall US sales in March.

The reopening of Hyundai's plant in the Russian city of St Petersburg, scheduled for next Monday after a nine day national holiday, will also likely be delayed after the country's president extended the paid national holiday until 30 April.

A Hyundai spokesman said "we have not decided how long the Russian plant suspension will last following the Russian government's latest guidance".

Kia Motors, which has global capacity of 3.84m vehicles, has suspended production at three of its seven overseas plants including the US (Georgia), Mexico and India.

The company resumed production at its plant in Slovakia on 6 April after a 14 day suspension while its US plant is scheduled to reopen on 10 April.

Kia Motors on Monday also halted production of Morning and Ray minicars at its Donghee Auto affiliate in South Korea until 13 April, due mainly to a sharp fall in overseas demand.

Hyundai Wia Corp will also suspend production of engines destined for Kia's minicars.