Hyundai halts plant in S. Korea on coronavirus case

Hyundai Motor Co. said it halted operations at one of its domestic plants Monday morning as an employee was infected with the new coronavirus.

Hyundai Motor suspended its Asan plant, which produces the Sonata and Grandeur sedans, at 6:45 a.m., and the suspension will continue until 3:30 p.m., a company spokesman said over the phone.

Hyundai has adjusted production at its local plants since early last year when the coronavirus outbreak began to affect vehicle sales.

Last month, Hyundai halted the Asan plant for two weeks through Jan. 6 due to weak sales of the Sonata sedan.

The company suspended its Jeonju plant, which produces commercial vehicles, such as buses and trucks, from Jan. 4-8 due to weak demand for the models. The Jeonju plant resumed operations on Monday.

For the whole of 2020, Hyundai sold a total of 3.74 million vehicles, down 15 percent from 4.43 million units a year earlier.

It has set a sales target of 4.16 million units for the year, which include overseas sales of 3.4 million units.

Hyundai has seven domestic plants — five in Ulsan, one in Asan and one in Jeonju — and 10 overseas plants — four in China and one each in the United States, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Russia, India and Brazil. Their combined capacity reaches 5.5 million vehicles.