PARIS: French automaker Renault said on Monday (Mar 30) it was resuming production at two factories in China and South Korea after they were shut down as authorities tried to limit the coronavirus outbreak.
“All of the group’s factories are currently shut down, except for the factories in China and South Korea, which have resumed operations or are in the process of doing so,” the company said in a statement.
Renault’s site in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, was taken offline in late January. It has an annual production capacity of 150,000 vehicles.
The Busan factory in South Korea, which turns out 216,000 cars a year, was stopped on Feb 7.
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Renault has already warned of possible factory closures as it races to cut costs amid the COVID-19 outbreak, after posting a net loss of €141 million (US$156 million) for 2019 – its first year in the red in a decade.
Unit sales fell 3.4 per cent last year to 3.75 million vehicles.
The French government, which owns a 15 per cent stake in Renault, has said it will be “vigilant” over plant closures or job cuts.