Up to 2% on average of all employees in the national economies in Southeast Europe (SEE) could be affected by the crisis induced by the coronavirus pandemic in the automotive sector alone, according to a report published by SeeNews.

The report said operating revenue in the automotive industry, among the hardest hit by the Covid-19 crisis, was expected to fall dramatically, as the aggregate losses for the region's automotive sector could exceed EUR8bn (US$8.6bn), according to estimates by the report authors.

SeeNews said the Romanian Association of Automobile Manufacturers (ACAROM) had estimated the country's car assembly and automotive parts manufacturing industry lost EUR124m each day of discontinued operations.

If expectations for gradually resuming production activity at the beginning of May 2020 work out, this would result in a net loss of revenue of up to EUR5bn in Romania alone as a direct consequence of the halt.

Additional losses, probably exceeding the immediate direct losses, would be incurred from the ongoing effect of "evaporated demand" by the end of the year.

"Given the geographically uniform effect of the Covid-19 crisis and the simultaneous actions and measures taken by the major players in the SEE automotive sector, we can assume that the distress on regional level will have proportions similar to those in Romania," the report said.

Ford's Craiova factory building the Puma and EcoSport and Renault's Dacia unit are the key Romanian automotive operations.