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Hyundai Motor to suspend production in S. Korea due to chip shortage

Hyundai Motor headquarters in Seoul. The company is now expanding into Indonesia. Photo: AFP/Jung Yeon-je. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

SEOUL, Mar 29, 2021, Reuters. South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Co 005380.KS plans to temporarily suspend production at its Ulsan No.1 plant in South Korea due to chip shortage between April 5 and April 13, Korea Economic Daily reported on Monday, citing the auto industry, Nasdaq reported.

The affected Ulsan factory produces 311,000 vehicles annually including the Kona Electric and Ioniq 5.

“No decision has been made on the reported temporary suspension of the facility,” Hyundai said in a statement to Reuters.

The Korea Economic Daily said the production at Hyundai’s Ulsan No.1 plant is being suspended due to supply issues regarding chips and power electric modules.

Underscoring the severity of the chip shortage crisis, Hyundai, until recently one of the automakers least affected due to prudent stockpiling, has become the latest automaker to halt manufacturing due to the chip shortage.

Hyundai had been able to avoid a hit from the shortage so far largely because it maintained a stockpile of chips unlike its global peers, Reuters reported last month.

Last week, Honda Motor Co Ltd 7267.T and General Motors Co GM.N both announced that they would continue production suspension at plants in North America for the coming weeks, citing the chip shortage as one of several reasons.

A confluence of factors including factory shutdowns, booming demand for laptops and tablets, and sanctions against Chinese tech companies caused a global shortage of chips to rattle the electronics sector in December.

Originally concentrated in the auto industry, the shortage has widened to affect a range of consumer electronics, including smartphones.

(Reporting by Heekyong Yang, editing by Louise Heavens)

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