In precautionary steps, automakers shut down plants
Published On Mar 23, 2020
Truck makers Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra announced the closure of plants to safeguard workers against the spread of Coronavirus.
As government and authorities taking unprecedented steps to contain the spread of the deadly virus, top automakers, across segments, have taken preventive measures to shut down their manufacturing plants to guard employees at the plants and ensure social distancing.
Tata Motors, M&M, the top truck makers have decided to stop production at their various plants.
“In the interest of the safety of our employees in the state, we have decided to rapidly scale down activities at Pune site to get to skeletal operations by the end of Monday, 23rd March 2020 and be ready for plant closure by end Tuesday, 24th March 2020 if the situation warrants", Tata Motors said in a statement.
Similarly, Mahindra & Mahindra announced that its plants across the country would be shut down starting Monday. The company in a statement, said, “In a proactive, preventive and pre-emptive measures at all their offices and manufacturing locations in India, to ensure employee safety and contain the spread of the CoronaVirus (Covid-19).”
“In light of heightened concern on the spread of CoronaVirus in the State of Maharashtra, we have decided to suspend the manufacturing operations at our Nagpur Plant with immediate effect and Chakan (Pune) and Kandivali (Mumbai) from Monday night onwards. None of the plants are working today, Sunday, 22nd March 2020. Employee well-being and safety are matters of utmost priority. We are carefully monitoring the rapidly evolving Covid-19 pandemic and will continue to take swift and appropriate action on other plants in the State of Maharashtra and across the nation should the situation change”, the company informed the regulators.
Industry bodies SIAM and ACMA have requested its members to consider plants shut down for a limited period to overcome this critical period so that workers are not exposed to the virus.
VE Commercial Vehicles halts production
Another major truck maker, VE Commercial Vehicles, also announced the closure of its plants in Pithampur, Baggad, and Thane till the end of this month.
In a statement, the company said, “In light of the unprecedented situation owing to the spread of COVID-19 and various advisories shared by the government, management has decided to suspend the operations at various plants starting Monday, March 23, 2020, till March 31, 2020.”
“This will include manufacturing facilities in Pithampur, Baggad, Bhopal, and Thane. Also, company offices and company-owned dealerships operating in affected districts of the country have been closed for the same period. However, during this time, scaled-down activities to address the customer concerns and emergency services will remain operational. VECV’s priority is the safety and wellbeing of all employees and casual and temporary workers. Company employees will continue to work-from-home during this time frame. VECV will continue to monitor the situation closely and take appropriate action as per government and administrative guidance”, the company’s statement stated.
Large scale closure
Over the last week, almost all the major automotive manufacturers have announced shutting down their plants completely. Country's largest passenger vehicle makers Maruti Suzuki also declared the closure of its plants in Haryana. “As a next step, the government policy now requires closure of production and accordingly, the company has taken a decision on production closure. The company will shut production and office operations at its facilities in Gurugram and Manesar, Haryana with immediate effect till further notice. The R&D Centre at Rohtak will also remain closed”, the company said in a statement.
Hero MotoCorp, the major two-wheeler manufacturer, on Sunday, announced its decision to stop work in factories across the country, including its research and development facility in Jaipur till 31st March. The manufacturing capacities in other nations like Colombia and Bangladesh will also remain closed.
Pune based motorcycle makers, Bajaj Auto, also stopped manufacturing activities at its Chakan manufacturing plant. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles India, Toyota Kirloskar Motors India, Hyundai Motors India, Honda Cars and Honda Motorcycle and Scooters India Two-wheelers too halted product temporarily.