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Hyundai, Kia's plant utilization rate below 80% in 2020

This file photo provided by Kia Corp. shows its headquarters building with its company logo in Yangjae, southern Seoul. (Kia Corp.)
This file photo provided by Kia Corp. shows its headquarters building with its company logo in Yangjae, southern Seoul. (Kia Corp.)
Hyundai Motor Co. and affiliate Kia Corp. said Wednesday their combined global plant utilization rate stayed below 80 percent due to an extended coronavirus pandemic.

Hyundai Motor's overall plant utilization rate stood at 84.1 percent and Kia's stood at 74.5 percent in 2020 as the pandemic affected vehicle production and sales, according to their 2020 business reports.

Hyundai's and Kia's rates fell from 99.7 percent and 89.2 percent, respectively, in 2019, the annual data showed.

In particular, Hyundai's US plant utilization rate plunged from 98 percent to 74.5 percent over the cited period, while Kia's also fell from 79.6 percent to 65.9 percent in the world's most important automobile market.

But the carmakers could offset weak overseas sales with robust sales for SUVs and high-end models in the domestic market last year.

Hyundai's sales fell 1.7 percent to 103.99 trillion won in 2020 from 105.75 trillion won a year ago despite the pandemic. Kia's rose 1.8 percent to 59.17 trillion won from 58.15 trillion won during the cited period.

Hyundai and Kia, which together form the world's fifth-biggest carmaker by sales, aim to sell a combined 7.08 million vehicles this year.

The sales target is up 11.5 percent from 6,350,851 vehicles sold by the country's two biggest carmakers last year. (Yonhap)
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