Indian auto industry suspends production due to coronavirus: Measures being taken

All major Indian auto manufacturers have suspended their production and announced their timelines and measures that they intend to take due to the coronavirus pandemic. While some manufacturers continue its manufacturing some have stopped manufacturing indefinitely

By:Updated: Mar 24, 2020 1:46 PM
Maruti suzuki, mahindra, honda cars and other automakers suspended production, two wheeler companies also put brakes, hero motocorp, honda motorcycle and scooter india, tvsImage: Reuters

As directed by many state governments, many automakers in India have announced their plans for suspending production at their respective facilities due to the coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, some have taken additional measures for their workforce, executives and also customers. While most automakers have stopped their production lines until further notice, some are still operational currently and will announce plans at a later stage.

India’s leading automakers, Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Mahindra, Tata, Honda, Hero, Suzuki and more have confirmed their suspension of production. Union bodies, SIAM (Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers) and ACMA (Auto Component Manufacturers Association of India) have requested all its members to consider temporary shut down of manufacturing and production due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus.

Maruti Suzuki has halted operations at its facilities in Gurugram, Manesar and also its R&D centre in Rohtak. Maruti has announced that the shutdown is indefinite as it will wait on further instructions from the government and its policies. India’s largest automaker has stated that it was already practicing basic necessary hygiene measures along with temperature checks, maximising video-conferencing and minimising contact, closing employee travel, health and distancing advisories to employees.

Hyundai Motor India has also announced the same as they have stopped their production line at its plant in Chennai. The plant closure for Hyundai India has already commenced from March 23 and will continue indefinitely and will wait on further instructions from the government. Additionally, Hyundai India has also announced a care programme for its customers by extending the warranty for the ones who cannot avail at this time, free servicing, emergency roadside assistance and also doorstep service facility to its customers.

Mahindra & Mahindra have suspended production in its facilities in Maharashtra. The Mahindra plants in Nagpur has already been closed, while Chakan and Kandivali will suspend operations from March 23 night. It has already announced that all its executive offices across the country are practicing a work-from-home policy. For its other plants in the state of Maharashtra, the Indian automaker claims to be carefully monitoring the spread of the COVID-19 virus and will take action accordingly should the situation change.

Ford India has also joined in as it also has halted production at both its plants in Chennai, Tamil Nadu and Sanand, Gujarat due to the spread of the virus. Ford has stopped its vehicle and engine production lines from March 23, 2020. Dealers, where ever permitted by the respective state governments will continue to be operational to support customers while following strict safety guidelines. active personnel will practice measures like sanitation and required hygiene measures. All demo cars from Ford India will be sanitised before each demo, pick-up-drop services for after-sales care of vehicles with service teams staying in touch through modern technology. New Ford vehicles that are scheduled to be delivered will be also be sanitised before being handed over to the customer.

Kia Motors has also announced that it has suspended all operations with immediate effect. The Kia manufacturing facility in Anantapur, Andhra Pradesh along with the company office premises will halt operations unit further notice. However, dealerships will be active on call for customers through digital channels. Kia has also stated that it will ensure that deliveries of new vehicles are not delayed and service requirements are attended to with strong safety precautions in place.

Guenter Butschek, CEO of Tata Motors sent out a letter to its staff mentioning that due to the spread of COVID-19, and in the interest of the safety of its employees, Tata Motors will eventually suspend production. From March 23, its plant in Pune will scale down productions to skeletal levels and then halt altogether from March 24 through March 31. The company will continue to review this decision and announce its plans in due course.

The same Ranjangaon facility that is used for FCA India’s operations to manufacture the Jeep Compass for India and global markets as well, will also be suspended. FCA India has announced that it will stop production till March 31 in response to the increasing prevalence of positive COVID-19 cases in the state of Maharashtra and particularly in Pune.

Honda Cars India has also suspended production in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh and Tapukara, Rajasthan. The temporary suspension will remain active until March 31. Honda’s corporate offices, including zonal and regional locations for all functions, will primarily work from home, except for those involved in running essential services that require physical presence or minimal staffing for a few critical activities while abiding by the government regulations.

Toyota Kirloskar Motors has voluntarily decided to temporarily halt production in its plant in Bidadi, Karnataka till further announcement. The Japanese brand has also expanded its work-from-home policy to its regional business units in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata & Bangalore. Renault-Nissan have also temporarily suspended production at their plant in Oragadam, Chennai from March 24 indefinitely. Renault-Nissan Alliance has stated “Health and safety of our employees, partners and local communities is our topmost priority. We will continue to take all the necessary steps to safeguard the well-being and health of our employees, partners and community and will closely monitor the situation.”

General Motors who, although does not sell its vehicles in the Indian market any longer does manufacture and import small models from its plant in Talegaon, Maharashtra. GM India has confirmed that it has also halted production at the plant from Saturday, March 21 and will halt operations in India till March 31.

Two-wheeler brands like Suzuki and Honda have both announced to suspend their operations indefinitely, along with Bajaj. TVS Motors has currently only suspended production for two days (March 23-24) however, will review the decision on whether to extend the temporary suspension of manufacturing further.

Update 6:15PM: TVS Motors has suspended all operations in India and Indonesia until further notice. All relevant employees have already been provided with Work from Home facility.

Japanese two-wheeler maker, Yamaha has also temporarily suspended operations in India as of March 23. All three Yamaha manufacturing facilities in Chennai, Surajpur, Uttar Pradesh and Faridabad, Haryana will halt production till March 31. Yamaha’s head office and regional office employees have been provided with the option of work from home.

Hero MotorCorp has decided to halt production of its operations globally including India, Colombia and Bangladesh, along with its Global Pats Centre in Neemrana with immediate effect till March 31. Employees at all the other functions and locations including the Centre of Innovation and Technology (CIT) in Jaipur will continue to work from home with exceptions who are required physically to run daily essential services. Hero’s auto-components arm, Rockmann Industries has also halted manufacturing at its 7 facilities till March 31, 2020. Rockmann has also confirmed that all permanent and contractual employees with a strength of 7,200 will be retained. 

The COVID-19 or commonly known as the coronavirus has wreaked havoc globally. The virus has claimed countless lives and at this stage and is expected to spread further. Many countries are taking precautionary measures in order to break the chain of this highly contagious with entire nations being locked down. In India so far, eight deaths have been reported and the number of confirmed cases stands at over 400. Many Indian states like Rajasthan, Punjab, Bengal, Uttarakhand, Delhi and many others have announced the state-wide lockdown.

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