Multinational automobile company Hyundai Motor declared on Friday that it is suspending all of its production at one of its factories in South Korea’s southeast city of Ulsan. The decision comes just after a worker was caught positive with coronavirus. After the news, the shares of the automaker dropped more than 5% while the broader market was down 2.6%.
Hyundai had gradually resumed its production at local plants hit by a Chinese parts shortage in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. At the same time, the new shut down will create several difficulties for the company. Outside China, South Korea has the highest number of infected people which was 1766. But on Friday 256 new cases were reported taking the number to 2022.
The company, in a statement, said, “The company has also placed colleagues who came in close contact with the infected employee in self-quarantine and taken steps to have them tested for possible infection.” Apart from Hyundai, Samsung has also halted its operation in the virus-affected country.
Like China’s Wuhan, Daegu is the epicentre of Korea for the outbreak and Ulsan is less than an hour from Daegu. In Ulsan, Hyundai operates five car factories that produce nearly 1.4 million vehicles which is about 30% of Hyundai’s global production. Hyundai employs 34,000 workers there in the world’s biggest car complex. Palisade, Tucson, Santa Fe, Genesis GV80 and some of the most beautiful sport utility vehicles are produced here.
The deadly coronavirus has paralyzed economic situation of several countries, including China, South Korea. Korean Air Lines Co Ltd, the top carrier of South Korea said on Friday that it would reduce the number of flights to the US in March. The passengers will pass through several monitoring stages, including the body temperature. The novel coronavirus has killed at least 2800 people worldwide with more than 83,000 global cases.