It’s raining pay hikes, promotions and recruitments at Hyundai

G Balachandar Chennai | Updated on July 17, 2020 Published on July 17, 2020

Good response to new models, other favourable factors help auto major buck industry trend

Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) appears to be bucking the Covid-19 disruption in a big way. India’s second-largest carmaker plans to hire up to 1,800 people, implement promotions and increments for workers and launch new models, besides ramping up production, becoming the country’s first auto OEM to do so amid the Covid-19 crisis.

The pandemic has caused huge challenges for capital-intensive companies, specifically in the automotive sector, many of which were already stretched thin from the second half of last year.

While every auto OEM is redrawing plans in view of the sluggish demand and challenges in operating factories, a refreshing contrast is visible at the South Korean automaker’s operations.

Factors that helped

The company is not making major tweaks either on the product side or on the staff front. Taking a cue from the past two months amid lockdown related challenges in some States, HMIL is confident that demand will continue to improve in the coming months. It has also made three new launches in the past few months and has reported encouraging responses to new models.

HMIL is betting big on a few favourable factors, which is feeding its optimism. While the shift from public to personal transportation post pandemic will be a big plus, Hyundai’s good presence in semi-urban and rural markets also works in its favour.

New launches and entry models such as Grandi10 are expected to drive volumes. Helped by the Venue and the all-new Creta, which has over 45,000 bookings, Hyundai accounted for about one-fourth of UV sales in June, making it the segment leader.

For vendors and dealers

In addition to ensuring 100 per cent payment of salaries on time every month to all categories of employees, it is also disbursing 100 per cent payment to all vendors and dealers, a move that is aimed at keeping the entire ecosystem (about 2.50 lakh families are part of its supply chain) in a positive state of mind.

Hyundai plans to undertake a mass recruitment of 1,600-1,800 diploma holders and ITIs as apprentices and trainees during these difficult times.

“We have been coping well post the lockdown period amid some good continuous learnings,” J Stephen Sudhakar, Senior Vice-President and Unit Head – People Strategy and Business Support, HMIL, told BusinessLine. “There is still a gap of people required for the complete third shift operations. Presently, we operate only two shifts in both the factories. Going by the trend and interest shown in our cars, we might have to start the third shift soon to meet the demand.”

He said HMIL recently announced promotions for technicians (blue-collar workmen on the shopfloors). They had received their performance bonuses in March. “We are in the process of firming up promotions for the junior, middle and senior-level executive cadres. The promotions will definitely happen and we will close everything by July 31,” he added.

The company said there have been no job losses and wage cuts to date.

Hyundai has also provided insurance cover to meet Covid-related expenses, covering testing and treatment, for its employees and their families. In addition, it is facilitating an interest-free soft loan of up to ₹3 lakh to support Covid-19 treatment.

Sudhakar also pointed out that the State government’s help was very vital in these tough times. “They were supportive and forthcoming to ensure smooth operations. When our staff wanted to return from their native places and lack of transport was an issue, the State government allowed us to operate buses to various places to bring them back — of course, with social distancing norms,” he added.

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Published on July 17, 2020
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