India's largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India on May 9, Sunday, announced that it has extended the maintenance shutdown of its plants till May 16. This comes amid a huge spike in COVID-19 cases in the country.
"... the maintenance shutdown, which was till the 9th May, 2021, is being extended till the 16th May 2021 keeping in view the current pandemic situation," Maruti Suzuki said in a regulatory filing.
However, it added that some activities will continue in the Gurugram and Manesar plants located in Haryana.
Last month, the company had said that it was advancing the annual plant maintenance shutdown, originally scheduled for June, to May 1-May 9.
The carmaker had announced the closure of its factories in Haryana to make oxygen available for medical requirements. In a statement, the company said that it uses a small amount of oxygen in its factories as part of the car manufacturing process, while relatively much larger quantities are used by the manufacturers of components.
"In the current situation, we believe that all available oxygen should be used to save lives. Accordingly, Maruti Suzuki has decided to advance its maintenance shutdown, originally scheduled for June 1st to May 9th," the company said.
Other automobile majors like Toyota Kirloskar Motor and MG Motor India have also announced similar measures in view of the COVID-19 situation.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor has announced its scheduled annual maintenance program across both its plants from 26 April to 14 May 2021. During this period, operations at both the Toyota factories in Bidadi (near Bengaluru) will witness a temporary halt, impacting supply of vehicles produced at its plants.
MG Motor India has announced that it will close its Halol manufacturing facility in Gujarat for seven days. As per reports, the Halol manufacturing facility will not be operational from April 29 till May 5. The Halol plant has an annual production capacity of 80,000 vehicles, and employs nearly 2,500 people.