French carmakers; Renault and PSA on Monday announced that they were halting production at their car factories in France and across Europe due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Renault said it would be shutting down its 12 French sites as of close of business on Monday. However, some 18,000 employees would be affected.
The company said production in its sites in other European countries would depend on the local situation and it would resume production in France as soon as conditions permit.
PSA, which manufactures the Peugeot, Citroen, Opel and DS brands, said it would be shutting 15 sites across Europe in stages, with effect until March 27.
The carmaker said in addition to cases of the coronavirus being identified near its factories, major suppliers were running out of stock and there was a sharp fall in the market.