Several Indian automakers like Maruti Suzuki India (MSI), Mercedes-Benz India, TVS Motor Company, Hero MotCorp and Royal Enfield announced on Wednesday the resumption of operations after being shut for more than a month This resumption is in line with government directives of the nationwide lockdown owing to the coronavirus outbreak in the country.
The country’s largest car manufacturer has decided to resume production at its Haryana facilities from May 12. On Wednesday it announced that it has re-opened 500 of its showrooms across the country from May 5 and that it has delivered 55 cars to its customers on the first day. Maruti-Suzuki has a total of 3086 showrooms across India out of which 500 fall in the containment zones and cannot be reopened at the moment. The rest of the 2586 showrooms can be opened after getting the nod from the respective district authorities under the local government guidelines.
It is to be noted that the Gurugram district administration had allowed MSI to run the Manesar facility on a single shift basis, while fixing the total number of employees at 4696. The auto major said it has put in place a comprehensive standard operating procedure (SoP) across its sales outlets and reinforced digital infrastructure for vehicle purchase amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
What About Other Car Manufacturers?
Luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz India resumed operations at its manufacturing facility at Chakan, Pune. The company informed that its dealers across different regions have also started operations. Even though the production has begun in a graded manner by following the government directives, the company is planning a gradual ramp-up in the coming weeks depending on the evolving current situation.
Hero MotoCorp, the country’s largest two-wheeler player, began operations in a graded manner at three manufacturing plants- Gurugram, Dharuhera (both in Haryana) and Haridwar (Uttarakhand). Hero MotoCorp said its Jaipur-based research and development facility- Centre of Innovation and Technology has also received the required permission to reopen and will resume functioning soon.
While the Hosur-based two-wheeler major, TVS Motor Company announced restart of its operations in India across all factories in Hosur, Mysuru and Nalagarh. The company has taken measures to ensure a safe workplace for employees with appropriate social distancing and highest standards of hygiene, it said.
Royal Enfield too said that it is resuming operations at its manufacturing unit at Oragadam, near Chennai in a staggered manner, with minimal staff over a single shift. “Operations at the other two manufacturing facilities – Tiruvottiyur and Vallam Vadagal – will be started in a phased manner. All other office locations including corporate offices in Chennai, Gurgaon and the UK Technical Centre will continue to remain closed, and employees will work from home as of now,” Royal Enfield said on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, other major car makers like Hyundai and Toyota-Kirloskar are planning to resume operations in a few days time as they have begun preparatory work. On the other hand, Honda Cars India said it had not been able to resume production at either of the two plants due to restricted movements of manpower and lack of clearance from the local authorities.
Earlier, Bajaj Auto had reported resumption of operations at its unit in Chakan, Pune; Aurangabad, Maharashtra and Rudrapur in Uttarakhand. Mahindra & Mahindra also started work at its Rudrapur tractor factory while commercial vehicle manufacturer Ashok Leyland announced that it will restart partial production. Among the major auto markets of the world, India was the only country to have reported no sales, according to IHS Markit, a sales forecast and research arm. The resumption of manufacturing and sales activities would surely help in resurrecting the economy.