Hyundai Motor Co., a Seoul-based South Korea leading automobile company, has reported that it occurred a record low of monthly global sales at the end of February 2020 due to the severe impact of the widespread coronavirus outbreak.
The latest figure was the lowest global sales for the company in a decade and considered to be the first report of how the automobile industry had been badly hit since the virus epidemic largely affected the trend of global demand for overall industries.
Hyundai’s Lowest Sales
South Korea’s Hyundai, combining its sister company, Kia Motors (Kia), is one of the world’s biggest carmaker companies, that had been witnessing a consistent surge of revenues over the years. However, the company is facing a record of its monthly lowest sales in a span of 10 years as South Korea has been largely affected by the virus outbreak.
The world’s No.5 carmaker, Hyundai was the first major automaker that announced its sales report for the month and analysts expected that Chinese and the US rivals would also be reveling their performances of sales in the coming weeks.
A source revealed that the total sales of the company for the end of February 2020 were 275,044 vehicles which was a sharp decline of 13% of the company’s sales of 315,820 vehicles a year earlier. Hyundai officials last reported that the company had its lower sales than the latest figures in ten years back in February 2010.
Statistics Korea data showed that the virus cases in South Korea are now concentrated in the country’s fourth-largest city of Daegu and the North Gyeongsang province; the two central areas that occupy about 20% auto parts suppliers in the country.
Virus Impact on Auto Sales
The flu-like virus, which originated in China, has already taken more than 3,000 lives and had destroyed global financial markets amid the uncertainty of the rebound of the global economy. So far, South Korea has the largest cases of virus infections outside mainland China which have reached more than a total of 4,212 cases.
Among the industries affected by the virus in the country, Hyundai, the first major automaker which was badly hit by the virus epidemic outside China, halted its productions at home, its biggest manufacturing base, in February due to the shortage of the auto parts suppliers from China.
Korea Investment & Securities analyst, Kim Jin-woo said in a statement, “Inside South Korea is now more urgent than China.” Jin-woo added, “With sluggish consumption affecting demand on top of it all, means auto sales are certain to be hit in the first quarter, and the impact expected to continue until at least the beginning of the second quarter.”
Amid the uncertainty over the virus outbreak, the automaker has gradually resumed output but its factory complex in the southeastern South Korean city of Ulsan was closed due to an employee was tested positive for the virus last week. A Hyundai spokesman stated that the plant, which makes popular models such as the Palisade sport utility vehicle, started re-opening for its production on Monday.
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