South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co and sister car manufacturer Kia Motors Corp said on Monday they planned to temporarily shut down plants in the United States to prevent possible damage from Hurricane Irma.
The closed down comes at a time Hyundai’s U.S. earnings have dropped more than the industry average, and after it announced plans to expand its SUV lineup and launching a pickup truck on the market in an effort to reverse the slide.
In a statement, Hyundai Motor said it would suspend operation of its Alabama plant for 2 days — between Monday and Wednesday — while Kia Motors will cease operation of its Georgia plant for a single day — between Monday and Tuesday.
The suspension is expected to lead to lost production of about 3,000 vehicles for both, the Yonhap news agency earlier said on Monday, citing a Hyundai Motor group spokesman. A Hyundai spokeswoman declined to comment on the amount.
Hurricane Irma took aim in heavily populated regions of central Florida on Monday as it carved a path of destruction throughout the country with high winds and storm surges that left millions without electricity, ripped roofs off houses and flooded city streets.
Hyundai’s U.S. earnings are down almost 11 percent this year through July 31, worse than the total 2.9 percent decrease in U.S. automobile and light truck sales.
Earnings of the Sonata, after a pillar of Hyundai’s U.S. franchise, have dropped 30 percent during the first seven weeks of 2017. By comparison, sales of Hyundai’s recent SUV lineup are up 11 percent for the first seven months of the year.
Courtesy: The Globe And Mail