SEOUL -- South Korea's second largest automaker Kia Motors said Tuesday it had lost nearly 2,000 cars on a freighter that caught fire after it washed up on a Japanese island during a storm.
The 56,835-ton Hual Europe, which is registered in the Bahamas and owned by a Norwegian company, was stranded on Izu-Oshima island near Tokyo early last month during a typhoon.
The official said the value of the 1,997 U.S.-bound cars was estimated at about $20 million, but he said the loss would be fully covered by cargo insurer Hyundai Merchant Marine Co..
Kia produces 90,000 automobiles each month. Its shares ended Tuesday down 2.5 percent at 9,070 won versus the main board's 0.51 percent fall.
A Japanese coast guard official said the freighter was carrying nearly 3,700 cars when it caught fire. The cause of the fire had not been determined.