March 18, 2020 / 10:51 AM / 23 days ago

UPDATE 1-Romanian carmaker Dacia suspends production until April 5

(Adds Pirelli, details)

BUCHAREST, March 18 (Reuters) - Romanian carmaker Dacia, owned by France’s Renault will stop production at its Mioveni plant on Thursday until April 5 due to the coronavirus outbreak, it said on Wednesday.

The company will send around 14,000 employees home on paid leave. Ford’s Romanian plant also suspended activity for its 6,000 staff.

The European Union state, which has recorded 246 infections but no deaths, declared a state of emergency on Monday.

Romania’s centrist minority government aims to approve on Wednesday a package of measures worth almost 2% of gross domestic product to help counter the economic impact of coronavirus, Finance Minister Florin Citu said.

“The company anticipates commercial operations will resume quickly after the sanitary crisis ends,” Dacia said in a statement. “At that time, appropriate measures will be implemented ... which will allow the company to meet commercial demand.”

Also on Thursday, Italian tire maker Pirelli said it will suspend activity at its plant in the Romanian town of Slatina during March 23-31. Pirelli Slatina has roughly 4,000 employees.

The company said in a statement it made the decision because of concerns over the outbreak as well as a slowdown in demand on the car market. “Resuming production will be made with a number of employees as low as possible to ensure elevated protection standards,” it said. (Reporting by Luiza Ilie;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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