Hyundai Motor Group earlier this week said it was cutting executive salaries by 20% as part of its efforts to weather the escalating COVID19 global pandemic.

South Korea's largest automaker said around 1,200 executives would be affected across the group, including affiliated companies, effective from the beginning of April. The company did not indicate how long the pay cuts would remain in place.

The group has suspended vehicle production in all major regional markets, including in South Korea, China, US, Europe and India for long periods over the last two months, initially due to supply chain disruptions in China and later due to plunging global vehicle demand.

Hyundai Motor Group executives have a history of returning part of their wages when its performance has come under pressure, including a cut following the 2008 financial crisis and in 2016 when the company suffered falling earnings and weak sales.

Meanwhile, Ssangyong and Renault-Samsung workers formally agreed to wage freezes for 2019 after many months of negotiations, as the financial position of both companies continued to deteriorate as a result of the COVID19 pandemic.

Data released by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy showed vehicle production in the country falling by over 19% to 171,535 units in the first 17 days of April, while exports were down by almost 46% at 48,800 units.