Virus Outbreak Forces Hyundai to Suspend Flagship SUV Production

Hyundai Motor, South Korea’s largest automaker, stopped producing its flagship sports utility vehicle this weekend after supply was cut off due to the fatal virus outbreak in China.

The deadly virus, which first appeared in central China’s Wuhan city, led to 259 deaths and spread to more than two dozen other countries.

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Hyundai’s decision was made after factory closures in China led to supply shortages, including a vehicle’s full electrical system, the Korean automaker said.

“We canceled overtime that was scheduled for Saturday and Sunday to produce our Palisade vehicle,” Jin Cha, a Hyundai spokesman, told AFP on Saturday.

The Palisade SUV is the only vehicle that should be produced this weekend, she added.

The company “carefully monitors the current situation” to make further decisions to deal with the supply disruption, the spokesman added.

The spread of respiratory diseases has caused companies in China to close, and airlines around the world have canceled flights, raising concerns about the impact on the Chinese economy and beyond.

Markets have had problems in the past few days when the World Health Organization declared a global health emergency for the virus. Analysts were concerned about the impact on global economic growth.

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