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May 28, 2020

South Korean automakers to cut output

Hyundai-Kia is to reduce output at Korean factories in response to lower demand in overseas markets.

By bcusack

Hyundai-Kia is to reduce output at Korean factories in response to lower demand in overseas markets.

Kia Motors said it plans to suspend production at two of its vehicle assembly plants in South Korea for several days next month due to plunging demand in key overseas markets.

South Korea's second-largest automaker said it will suspend operations at its Number 1 plant in Gwangmyeong, just south of Seoul, between the dates of 1-2 and 8-9 June and at its Number 2 plant in Gwangmyeong between 1-3 and 8-10 June. The two plants were also shuttered between 27-29 April also due to weak overseas demand.

The Number 1 plant makes the Carnival minivan, the Stinger sports car and the K9 executive saloon car, while the Number 2 plant produces the Pride compact car and the Stonic subcompact SUV.

Earlier this week Kia said its Number 2 plant in Gwangju, located 330 km south of the capital city Seoul, will be closed until 5th June after it suspended oeprations there on 25th May. Operations at the plant had previously been suspended between 27th April and 8th May. The plant makes the Sportage compact SUV and the Soul boxcar.

The company confirmed that all of its overseas plants are currently operational, after it reopened its Mexican plant on Tuesday.

In the first four months of 2020, Kia 's global sales fell by 11% to 782,901 units from 877,839 units in the same period a year earlier.

Hyundai Motor , which owns a 34% of Kia , said it will halt three assembly lines at its Ulsan Number 3 and Number 4 plants from 1-5 and 11-12 June. These plants produce the Venue subcompact car, the Ioniq electric and hybrid vehicles and the Porter light truck.

The company is also considering halting operations at the Ulsan Number 1 plant, which makes the Kona and Veloster models.

Hyundai's global sales were down by close to 24% at 1,062,505 units in the first four months of the year from 1,390,344 units previously.

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