Maruti, most auto majors halt production till month-end

S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on March 23, 2020

With Covid-19 cases on the rise, leading automobile manufacturers, including Maruti Suzuki India, Hero MotoCorp, Tata Motors, Bajaj Auto, Fiat and Mercedes-Benz India, have decided to halt operations till next week.

The country’s largest car maker, Maruti Suzuki, said it 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 government policy now requires closure of production and, accordingly, the company has taken a decision on production closure. The duration of this shutdown will depend upon government policy,” it said in a statement on Sunday.

Hero MotoCorp said it has decided to halt operations at its manufacturing facilities in India, Colombia, and Bangladesh, as also the Global Parts Centre at Neemrana until March 31.

Employees at all the other functions and locations, including the Centre of Innovation and Technology, in Jaipur (Rajasthan) will continue to work from home, except for those whose physical presence is necessary to run day-to-day essential services, it said.

Pawan Munjal, Chairman, Hero MotoCorp, has set up a task force and is monitoring the developments through video conferencing and tele-meetings to ensure that employee safety and business-continuity plans are up-to-date and effective, it added.

Apart from Hero MotoCorp, Maharashtra-based companies such as Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), Bajaj Auto, Tata Motors, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), and the country’s largest luxury car maker, Mercedes-Benz India, have also suspended productions till March 31.

Honda Cars India and Honda Scooter & Motorcycle India also said they will shut their plants till March 31. While, Honda Cars will suspend operations at both its manufacturing plants in Greater Noida, UP, and Tapukara, Rajasthan. Honda Scooters has announced shutdown of operations at all its four manufacturing plants — in Haryana, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Karnataka — with immediate effect till further notice.

Suzuki Motorcycle India also said it will suspend work at its facility in Gurugram till further notice.

 “We have decided to suspend the manufacturing operations at our Nagpur Plant with immediate effect and Chakan (Pune) and Kandivali (Mumbai) from Monday night. None of the plants worked on Sunday,” M&M said in its statement.

Similarly, Mercedes-Benz India said the company’s leadership team is constantly evaluating the situation and will decide on further measures as required. “Due to the worsening situation of the Covid-19 pandemic, Mercedes-Benz India has suspended the majority of production at its facility located in Chakan as well as work in selected administrative departments, for an initial period starting March 21-31,” it said.

Tata Motors had on Thursday decided to scale down activities at its Pune site to get to skeletal operations by end of Monday and be ready for closure by end Tuesday if the situation warrants; it will remain shut till March 31.

Southern-based companies such as Hyundai Motor India (Tamil Nadu) and Toyota Kirloskar Motor (Karnataka) have also announced closure of their facilities from Monday till "further notice".

"We will await further notifications from State government to resume plant operations," said Hyundai Motor India.

Published on March 22, 2020

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