KIA Motors India has decided to suspend production of vehicles from its Anantapur facility in Andhra Pradesh owing to the lockdown announced by the state government, and also prevailing conditions with regards to the spread of the COVID-19 disease across the country, the company said on Monday.
The company said it was taking the decision "keeping in mind the safety and well-being of all our customers, employees, workers, partners and associates across India."
"All our dealerships remain on call and are available to our customers for all their requirements via all our digital channels...We are also ensuring deliveries are not delayed for eager customers as well as service requirements are also being attended to, without compromising on strong safety precautions," a statement by KIA said.
The facility, which has the capacity to produce three lakh vehicles per annum, is currently producing one lakh units in two shifts, sources said, adding that the world-class manufacturing facility, spread across 536 acres, will also be capable of producing hybrid and electric vehicles.
When contacted, Anantapur Collector Gandham Chandrudu said the district administration has communicated about the state government’s lockdown orders till March 31.
"They (KIA management) have been intimated about the lockdown and they are complying with it,” the official said.
According to him, eight Korean nationals working for the company who have come to the plant during February were also put under home quarantine as a safety measure.
The facility currently employs 10,000 people. KIA Motors India's wholesalers in February stood at 15,644 units.
The company dispatched 14,024 units of Seltos and 1,620 units of Carnival to dealers last month, KIA Motors India had earlier said in a statement.
Andhra Pradesh government has declared lockdown in the state till March 31. All non-essential commercial shops will remain shut, while essential services like water, groceries, vegetables, milk, meat, medicines, etc. will remain available.
Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy on Sunday asked factories, workshops, and other such establishments to run with skeletal staff.
However, the upcoming Assembly session will be conducted, he said, in which the budget will be passed. Secondary School Certificate (SSC) exams for Class 10, and Intermediate exams for Class 12 will also continue as planned, while ensuring that social distancing protocol is maintained, the CM said.