Kia Motors has revealed that it plans to suspend operations at three of its South Korean factories as the coronavirus hampers export to key markets such as Europe and the United States. According to Reuters, Kia has already informed the country’s labour union of the suspension.

The Korean automaker only planned for a week-long suspension from April 23 to 29, but it’s currently being reviewed by the labour union because negotiations over employee wages are still ongoing, a union official said. “Kia Motors is currently reviewing the suspension of some of its plants in Korea in response to declining global demand due to Covid-19. However, a decision has not been made at this time,” it said in a statement.

The country’s exports for the first 10 days of April plunged 18.6% from the same period last year, far below the 20.8% jump over March 1-10. Shipments of vehicles and vehicle components during the period tumbled 7.1% and 31.8% respectively.

Meanwhile, South Korea is bracing for another wave of Covid-19 infections, although preliminary findings suggest that the coronavirus may have “reactivated” in patients who were deemed to have recovered from the infection.

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