The effect of the deadly coronavirus outbreak was seen at the 15th edition of Asia's largest automobile show, Auto Expo 2020 with a footfall of visitors in Greater Noida on February 6. During the biennial flagship motor show, Chinese participants reportedly stayed away from pavilions on the day China's Great Wall Motor announced an investment of one billion dollars into the country's auto market.
Since the show is being held at the time of the outbreak, many delegates and participants besides the media personnel were wearing masks. The fear among people to be infected with the novel virus has been escalating as the pathogen has claimed 636 lives in China with more than 31,000 confirmed cases. However, masked delegations was also a rare scene at the previous editions of the motor show with hand sanitizers were ubiquitous at the guest lounges of the participating firms.
In the first instance of the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on the Auto Expo, China's FAW firm automaker Haima Automobile cancelled its scheduled press conference on February 6 as the top leadership team of the company was unable to make it to India. Haima, however, displayed its seven-seater seven-seater MPV 7X and SUV 8S and electric vehicle E1 at the expo.
Even though the Chinese presence was minimal at the show, many people were seen protecting themselves. Jong who worked with Hyundai South Korea told a news agency that they were from South Korea and keeping in mind the global impact of the rapid spread of the virus, they did 'not want to take any chance'. Furthermore, South Korea's Hyundai, the world's most productive car factory has suspended its operations in the Ulsan complex on February 6.
The suspension of work at Hyundai's factories has made at least 25,000 people forcibly leave their jobs with partial wages. According to international reports, the analysts have said that these closures can also be the first example of a phenomenon that rolled out around the world. The shutting down South Korean plant will also take a toll on the company which could be as high as $500 million.