Honda Motor Co., Nissan and PSA Group, responding to a rapidly spreading viral outbreak that has disrupted travel and business in China, began withdrawing employees around the epicenter in Wuhan to try to slow its progress.
The Wuhan region is a major hub for the auto and transportation industries.
Nissan Motor Co. plans to evacuate most of its expatriates and their family members from Wuhan using chartered plane dispatched by the Japanese government, a company spokeswoman said in an email.
Honda said Sunday it would remove about 30 Japanese staff, family members and employees visiting Wuhan on business trips, Teruhiko Tatebe, a Tokyo-based spokesman, said by phone.
The carmaker has informed the Japanese government that it wishes to utilize the charter jet planned to evacuate Japanese citizens. A handful of staff needed to maintain local operations will remain in the city.
PSA Group said it will repatriate expatriate staff and their families from the Wuhan area, which is at the center of the coronavirus outbreak.
The maker of Peugeot and Citroen cars said that 38 people would be evacuated and that the initiative will be executed in full collaboration with the Chinese authorities and the French general consulate.
The evacuees will remain in quarantine in Changsha before traveling back to their home countries, PSA said on Saturday.
PSA also said it was taking measures with Dongfeng to take care of their joint venture's Chinese employees.
French companies are big investors in Wuhan, which has historical ties with France.
PSA has three factories in Wuhan as part of a partnership with Dongfeng Motor. Renault and French suppliers Valeo and Faurecia have plants in the city.
Last week a Renault spokesman told Automotive News Europe that its Wuhan factory was closed for the Chinese New Year holiday and that company was still analyzing the situation with respect to its personnel there.
Automotive News Europe and Bloomberg contributed to this report.