Hyundai and Kia's US production plants have been closed since March.
Kia and Hyundai have been helping customers and those affected by the coronavirus pandemic by offering extended warranties and by producing face masks. In the US, production at Hyundai's plant in Alabama, where the Hyundai Santa Fe, Elantra, and Sonata are manufactured, has been suspended since March 18 when one of its employees was diagnosed with Covid-19, while Kia's plant in Georgia that produces the Telluride, Sorento, and Optima has been shut since March 30 due to a shortage of engine parts supplied by the Alabama plant.
However, Yonhap News reports that production at both plants will resume this week "depending on developments and local market conditions."
Social distancing measures requiring workers to keep six feet apart will still be in place, however. Hyundai's India plant in Chennai will also resume production this week after being shut down since March 22 as the carmaker satisfied all safety requirements by the local government. Suspension at Kia's plant in Mexico has been extended, but Hyundai and Kia's plants in China are operational, although they aren't at full capacity yet.
"The Covid-19 global pandemic significantly disrupted the US auto industry in April. We look forward to supporting our dealers and customers as cities, counties and states slowly reopen, and we begin returning to work after this tragic pandemic," said Randy Parker, vice president of National Sales for Hyundai Motor America.
Despite the prolonged shutdown, the Korean automaker is optimistic that sales will recover sooner rather than later. In a recent interview, Kia Europe's COO, Emilio Herrera, predicted that sales volumes will return to normal no later than July, but not without a "catastrophic" drop in sales volumes before then.