While cases are going down in some parts of the world, the coronavirus is still lurking around. No country or industry can escape its reach, South Korea and the automotive sector included.

The latest automaker to get struck by the virus is Kia. They announced that they suspended operations at the Sohari factory near Seoul. They had to pause production after ten workers got infected by COVID-19. The Sohari factory is the assembly line for the Rio, Carnival, the K900 flagship sedan, the first-ever Stonic, and the recently facelifted Stinger.

The factory, which employs 5,800 workers, officially halted work last Thursday for thorough disinfection. The company plans to resume operations at a later date. However, Kia has yet to say when production will resume.

Kia factory that makes the Stinger temporarily stops production image

“We stopped the production following the health authorities' confirmation of the COVID-19 cases. We are now disinfecting the factories. We will decide when to reopen the factories later,” said a Kia spokesperson.

Korea, which has been doing well in the fight against the pandemic, experienced a slight increase in confirmed cases. The country now has a total of 23,045 confirmed cases while recoveries are now at 20,248. Currently, there are over 2,430 active cases in Korea.

The Sohari plant is Kia's first and largest local factory, opening back in 1973. It initially made two- and three-wheeled vehicles before eventually shifting towards four-wheeled vehicles. These included the Brisa, Bongo, and the Pride sedan and hatchback.

Source: Asia Nikkei