The Haryana government on Wednesday granted permission to Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) to restart its Manesar-based manufacturing facility, but the company said it will resume operations only when it can maintain continuous production and sell it, “which is not possible at this point of time”.
As per the order of the Gurugram district administration, operations can be carried out only in a single shift and with following of mandatory social distancing guidelines. The Manesar plant has a manufacturing capacity of 8,80,000 units per annum in three shifts and three assembly facilities. The Alto, Swift and Dzire are some of the models made at the Manesar plant.
According to sources, some vehicles that are built at the Manesar plant need components and parts that are manufactured at the carmaker’s other plants. For instance, Maruti’s plant in nearby Gurugram cannot be reopened as yet. Furthermore, the company was granted permission for only 600 employees instead of 4,696 that was requested, thus resulting in a big shortage in workforce for smooth running of the plant.
Permission is hereby granted to Maruti Suzuki India, Manesar to operate the establishment during the lockdown period, Gurugram Deputy Commissioner said in an order dated Tuesday. The district administration also gave permission to operate 50 vehicles.
“No other manufacturing/service activity is permitted in the unit other than those approved under the guidelines of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt of India during the said lockdown period, else strict action will be taken and you will be responsible for the same,” the order further added.
About the development, MSI Chairman RC Bhargava said, “We will start operations whenever we can maintain continuous production and sell it (vehicles), which is not possible at this point of time.”
MSI’s Manesar (Haryana) plant is outside the limits of Gurugram Municipal Corporation, while its Gurugram plant falls within the city limits. The two plants in Haryana have an installed capacity to roll out 15.5 lakh units per annum while the Gurugram plant has a manufacturing capacity of 7,00,000 units per annum in two shifts and in two assembly facilities. The company had stopped production at its Manesar and Gurugram plants on March 22, 2020, and also stopped operations at its Rohtak R&D centre. According to a report, the yard at the Manesar plant still has inventory that is yet to be dispatched to dealers, which will take place only once the lockdown lifts.
In a statement issued on March 22, 2020, the company had said that it “has been taking all recommended precautions in its operations against the spread of COVID-19, which includes sanitization and hygiene, temperature checks, maximizing video-conferencing and minimizing contact, closing employee travel, health and distancing advisories to employees and following all government directions on the subject.”