India’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki has resumed operations at its Manesar production facility in Haryana after almost 40 days of closure due to the coronavirus-led lockdown. The operations at both Manesar and Gurugram facilities were suspended since March 22. The company’s Manesar facility has commenced operations on a single shift basis with up to 75 per cent employees allowed currently. Coming to the full-swing operations, Maruti Suzuki says that it would depend on government regulations like when two shifts would be allowed, when manpower could be increased and when supply chain would become fitter.
“Production has commenced at the Manesar plant and the first car would roll out today (Tuesday),” Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) Chairman R C Bhargava told PTI. “There are many variables involved.” On restarting manufacturing activities at Gurugram facility, he said “it will start, but not yet”. On 22nd April, the Haryana government granted permission to the brand to restart its Manesar manufacturing facility, but the company states that it will resume operations only when it can maintain continuous production and sell vehicles, “which is not possible at this point of time”.
Gurugram district administration had allowed Maruti Suzuki to run the facility on a single shift basis, while fixing the total number of employees at the plant at 4,696. The company’s Manesar plant is outside the limits of Gurugram Municipal Corporation, while its Gurugram plant falls within the city limits. The two plants in Haryana have an installed capacity to roll out 15.5 lakh units of vehicles per annum.
When asked how the lockdown would impact industry sales this fiscal, Bhargava said that in current circumstances it was too early to forecast. He, however, pointed out that cars in the country were among most highly taxed in the world. “I have always held that cars are too heavily taxed in India by both the central government as well by the as state governments. The result is that carmakers in India pay much higher taxes than in most other developed parts of world,” he further stated.
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