China and South Korea plants resumes operations, says Renault

New Renault models leads European car sales

French automaker Renault stated Monday it was restarting production at two factories in China and South Korea after they were closed as officials were trying to deal with the spread of the coronavirus.

“All of the group’s factories are currently shut down, except for the factories in China and South Korea, which have restarted operations or are in the process of doing so,” the company stated.

Renault’s site in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak, was temporarily shut down in late January. The plant has an annual production capacity of 150,000 vehicles.

The Busan factory in South Korea, which produces 216,000 cars annually, was stopped on February 7.

Renault has already cautioned about possible factory closures as it races to slash costs amid the coronavirus crisis, after publishing a net loss of 141 million euros ($156 million) for 2019 — its first year loss in a decade.

Unit sales dropped 3.4 percent in 2019 to 3.75 million vehicles.

The French government, which holds a 15 per cent stake in the automaker, has stated it will be “vigilant” over plant closures or job cuts.

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