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Hyundai Motor, Kia Motors plants to resume operation from Tuesday

Hyundai Motor Group’s Ulsan plant is seen empty, Friday. (Yonhap)
Hyundai Motor Group’s Ulsan plant is seen empty, Friday. (Yonhap)
Manufacturing plants of the country’s two largest automakers, Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors, which had been suspended due to disruption of parts supplies will resume operation from Tuesday, industry sources said Monday.

The resumption follows delivery of Chinese-made wiring harnesses, a crucial auto part laid on the floor of the vehicles during initial assembly. A portion was set to arrive here Monday via flights and vessels from Qingdao and Weihai, according to a Hyundai Motor official. 

From Feb. 4 to 7, Hyundai Motor has stopped operation of part of its manufacturing lines at Ulsan plants responsible for the production of popular lineups from the automaker, including Genesis G70, GV80, Porter, Kona, Tucson, Nexo, Palisade, Santa Fe, Sonata and Grandeur, due to inventory shortage. 

Hyundai Motor Group has been receiving wiring harnesses from three auto parts companies located in China, and has been maintaining one week’s stock.

But the Chinese government’s decision to extend the Lunar New Year holiday until Feb. 9 had led the Chinese plants to take about two or three more days for production to fully mobilize.

According to Hyundai Motor Group, it will operate the second Ulsan plant from Tuesday to resume manufacturing its core sport utility vehicle models, including GV80, Palisade, Santa Fe and Tucson. The remaining Hyundai Motor plants will resume operation from Wednesday, the company said. 

Its sister company Kia Motors’ Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, plant where its sedan K series is manufactured will also resume operation from Tuesday. The other Kia plants located in Gwangmyeong, Gyeonggi Province, and Gwangju will begin production from Wednesday, the automaker said. 

Market insiders said the government’s communication with Chinese on resuming operations of manufacturing plants for auto parts have shortened the factory closings. 

Other than Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors, SsangYong Motors said it will resume operation of its Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, plant from Thursday. The automaker has planned to close its plant from Feb. 4 to 12.

Renault Samsung, which has planned to stop plant operations from Tuesday to Friday, said it will resume from next week. 

In the latest inventory shortage fiasco, GM Korea was the only automaker that has not stopped manufacturing, as its auto parts sourcing depends on its global sourcing network. 

By Kim Da-sol (