Renault says China, South Korea plants restarting after virus shutdown

French automaker Renault said Monday 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 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 February 7.

Renault has already warned of possible factory closures as it races to cut costs amid the coronavirus crisis, after posting a of 141 million euros ($156 million) for 2019—its first year in the red in a decade.

Unit sales fell 3.4 percent last year to 3.75 million vehicles.

The French government, which owns a 15 percent stake in Renault, has said it will be "vigilant" over plant closures or job cuts.

© 2020 AFP

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