In view of the rising COVID-19 cases in India amid the second wave of the pandemic, several major automakers have decided to halt production at their plants.
Two-wheeler major Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) will temporarily halt production operations across all of its four plants effective from May 1, 2021. According to the company, the decision was taken in view of the current severe situation on account of the second wave of COVID-19 and subsequent multiple lockdowns across various cities in the country.
"Honda will utilise this temporary production halt (1st May to 15th May 2021) for advancing its annual plant maintenance activities. Depending upon the evolving Covid situation and the market recovery, Honda shall be reviewing its production plan in the subsequent months,â€ť the two-wheeler major said.
Parallelly, to break the chain of infections, all Honda office associates will continue to 'Work-From-Home' to maintain business continuity while extending all possible support to customers and business partners. â€śOnly the essential staff will be working at all our plants and various offices across the country,â€ť HMSI added.
The countryâ€™s largest carmaker, Maruti Suzuki India has announced the closure of its factories in Haryana to make oxygen available for medical requirements.
In a statement, the company said that as part of the car manufacturing process, Maruti Suzuki uses a small amount of oxygen in its factories 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," it said.
It also said that Suzuki Motor Gujarat has decided to shut its factory.
Hero MotoCorp has decided to proactively halt operations temporarily at all of its manufacturing facilities across the country, including its Global Parts Center (GPC), in view of the ongoing escalation in the spread of COVID-19 across the country. The company will utilise these shutdown days to carry out necessary maintenance work in the manufacturing plants.
The company said that shutdown will not impact its ability to meet the demand, which has been impacted due to localised shutdowns in many states and production loss will be compensated during the remainder of the quarter. All plants will resume normal operations post this short shutdown period. Each plant and GPC will remain shut for four days, in a staggered manner between April 22â€“ May 1 based on the local scenario.
All corporate offices of the company are already in work from home (WFH) mode and limited colleagues are in offices on rotation basis for continuity of essential services.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor has announced its scheduled annual maintenance program across both its plants from 26 April to 14 May 2021. Periodic maintenance of plant and machinery is a standard operating procedure to enhance the competitiveness of the plants, such as operational efficiencies, productivity and safety of equipment, from time to time.
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. The company will use the pipeline finished goods inventory to serve the pending and immediate requirements of its customers so as to ensure minimal discomfort to them.
"Limited number of employees as permissible by the rules of social distancing and other mandatory guidelines will be engaged in essential jobs and activities at the plant. The management will also use this time to further enhance modern COVID-19 protection measures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all its people," the carmaker said in a statement.
MG Motor India has announced that it will close its Halol manufacturing facility in Gujarat for seven days. As per media 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, with a workforce of nearly 2,500.
"We have decided to close our plant in Halol for 7 days to break the chain of Covid. And our employees are committing to stay safe and take care of the community in these harsh times,â€ť MG Motor India President Rajeev Chaba tweeted.
Meanwhile, India witnessed its highest spike of 3,86,452 fresh cases of COVID-19 and 3,498 fatalities due to virus infection in the last 24 hours, according to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
It was the ninth day in a row when India recorded more than 3 lakh cases while over 3,000 casualties have been reported for the past three days. On Thursday, India witnessed the highest fatalities in a day at 3,645 deaths.