Kia Motors may make face masks at China factory to fight coronavirus

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Kia Motors is pictured on a car at Kia Motors manufacturing plant in Pesqueria, on the outskirts of Monterrey, Mexico May 8, 2019. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril/

SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s Kia Motors Corp (000270.KS) is considering making face masks at its Chinese factory to help battle the spread of the coronavirus, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

The announcement follows a similar move by Fiat Chrysler (FCHA.MI), whose CEO Mike Manley said earlier this week that one of the group’s plants in Asia would be converted to produce face masks for healthcare workers and would reach a target of one million masks per month in coming weeks.

Kia could make masks at its Yancheng plant after the Chinese government encouraged carmakers to do so, the spokesman said. He declined to comment on possible timing or any manufacturing target.

Kia has suspended production at its Georgia plant in the United States, its Slovakia site and operations in India due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Reporting by Joyce Lee; Editing by Pravin Char

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