Coronavirus | Automakers to shut down manufacturing plants

Updated - March 22, 2020 10:57 pm IST

Published - March 22, 2020 10:43 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Representational image.

Representational image.

Amid national efforts to curtail the spread of the novel coronavirus, nearly all automakers in the country, including market leaders Maruti Suzuki and Hero MotoCorp, have announced temporary shutdown of their manufacturing plants.

“With the safety and well-being of employees as top priority in view of the escalating COVID-19 situation, Hero MotoCorp has decided to halt operations at all its global manufacturing facilities — including in India, Colombia and Bangladesh — and the Global Parts Centre (GPC) at Neemrana with immediate effect until March 31, 2020,” the country’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer said in a statement.

It added that employees at all the other functions and locations, including the Centre of Innovation and Technology (CIT) in Jaipur, will continue to work from home, except for those whose physical presence is necessary to run the day-to-day essential services of the company.

Likewise, Maruti Suzuki said it would shut down production and office operations at its facilities in Gurugram and Manesar, Haryana, till further notice. The R&D Centre at Rohtak will also remain closed. "The duration of this shutdown will depend upon government policy," the company said.

In light of heightened concerns over the spread of COVID-19 in Maharashtra, Mahindra and Mahindra has decided to suspend manufacturing operations at its Nagpur plant with immediate effect, and in Chakan (Pune) and Kandivali (Mumbai), from Monday night onwards. “Employee well-being and safety are matters of utmost priority. We are carefully monitoring the rapidly evolving Covid-19 pandemic and will continue to take swift and appropriate action on other plants in the State of Maharashtra and across the nation should the situation change,” the company said in a statement.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) also announced a temporary shutdown of operations. HMSI, which has four manufacturing plants in the country, said the duration of this shut down will depend upon government policy.

Honda Cars India too informed its associates and suppliers that production operations at both its manufacturing plants in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh and Tapukara, Rajasthan will be temporarily suspended from March 23 till March 31, 2020. While the company said it intends to restart production on April 1, this will be dependent upon advice from the government and health authorities, and market and supply conditions, the company said.

Gaku Nakanishi, President & CEO, Honda Cars India said, “In these trying times, health, safety and well-being of our associates, their families, and community at large is of utmost importance. We standby them during this tough phase and urge everyone to take all possible measures to prevent COVID-19 from spreading further. Social distancing is the need of the hour. We can overcome the pandemic if we collectively show restraint, resolution and responsibility."

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