Coronavirus: Automakers across India announce temporary shutdown of plants
In India, the number of people with coronavirus infection has reached 415 with eight reported deaths. Automakers are now putting the brakes on production across India.
Auto manufacturers in India have announced a temporary suspension of manufacturing operations at their respective plants amid coronavirus outbreak.
On Sunday, various automakers like Maruti Suzuki India, Honda Cars, and Fiat announced a temporary halt in manufacturing operations at their respective facilities. Two-wheeler makers Hero MotoCorp, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India, and Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt Ltd (SMIPL) have also suspended production at their manufacturing plants.
Royal Enfield has shut down its three plants in Chennai as well as its R&D centre in the city and Leicestershire along with its dealership across the country. Bajaj Auto has announced that its four plants in Akurdi, Chakan, Aurangabad, and Pantnagar will remain shut for the next eight weeks.
Hyundai has decided to halt production at its Sriperumbudur (Chennai) plant while Toyota Kirloskar Motor has put brakes on manufacturing at its Bidadi facility in Karnataka.
"The company will be taking the preventive counter-measure of suspending its manufacturing operations at the Chennai facility from March 23 till further notice to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) - a global pandemic," Hyundai Motor India said in a late-night statement on Sunday.
The South Korean carmaker is offering 24x7 roadside assistance, and free two-month warranty extensions.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor stated, “Keeping the safety of employees as the top priority, TKM has voluntarily decided to temporarily halt production in its plant in Bidadi, Karnataka till further announcement. It has also expanded work from home for all its employees in its regional offices in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru.”
The suspension seen in the auto industry is in view of precautionary measures taken in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and in line with the state governments' directives, the companies have announced.
With the number of infected cases climbing in India, the governments have decided to completely lockdown 80 districts across 17 states from where COVID-19 cases have been reported. State governments have been given the power to extend the list of districts as and when they deem fit.
Mahindra Group Chairman Anand Mahindra, on Sunday, proposed lockdown for the next few weeks. He offered the facilities of the Mahindra Group's hospitality arm as medical care facilities. Besides, he confirmed that the group will work on how its manufacturing facilities can make ventilators.
Sharing plans of the group, which has presence across sectors ranging from farm equipment to aerospace, he said, "To help in the response to this unprecedented threat, we at the Mahindra Group will immediately begin work on how our manufacturing facilities can make ventilators."
Mahindra further said, "At Mahindra Holidays, we stand ready to offer our resorts as temporary care facilities."
(Edited by Evelyn Ratnakumar)