South-based auto makers suspend production in fight against Covid-19

G Balachandar Chennai | Updated on March 23, 2020

The Hyundai Motor India plant near Chennai   -  BABU

Offer ‘work from home’ facility to staff and emergency support to customers

Almost all passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles and two- and three-wheeler makers have announced suspension of production, with the Central and State governments intensifying measures against the Covid-19 outbreak by banning people and vehicle movements across the country.

While North and West India-based vehicle makers such as Maruti Suzuki, Mercedes-Benz, Mahindra, Honda and Bajaj Auto halted production on Sunday, most South-based companies such as Hyundai, Toyota, Renault-Nissan, Kia Motors and TVS Motor announced, on Monday, that they would be stopping production at their factories from March 23.

Hyundai Motor India said it will be suspending manufacturing operations at its Chennai factory from Monday till further notice.

Renault Nissan’s joint passenger vehicle unit at Oragadam near Chennai will be temporarily halting its operations from March 24, until further notice.

Kia Motors India will also halt all operations with immediate effect. With this, its manufacturing facility in Anantapur (Andhra Pradesh) and office premises will stop functioning until further notice.

While Hyundai assured 24/7 roadside assistance to customers in case of any emergency and extended support for two months in addition to doorstep services, Kia Motors said all its dealerships will remain on call and available to customers via digital channels. “We are also ensuring deliveries are not delayed for eager customers, as well as service requirements are also being attended to,” it said.

Luxury car maker BMW India has also stopped its local assembly operations near Chennai till March 31.

TVS Motor

TVS Motor Company will halt all manufacturing operations at its plants in India and Indonesia till further notice. Many employees have already been provided with work from home facility. The company has assured that it would protect jobs and salaries and work closely with their dealers and suppliers and extend all support to them in the wake of the pandemic, the company said.

Japanese auto maker Yamaha has suspended manufacturing operations at its plants in Chennai (Tamil Nadu), Surajpur (Uttar Pradesh) and Faridabad (Haryana) till March 31.

The operations at the Surajpur plant in Uttar Pradesh and Faridabad plant in Haryana have been suspended from March 23-31, whereas the operations at the Chennai plant will be suspended from March 24-31. The employees working at the head office and area offices have been provided with the option to work from home till March 31.

Along with vehicle makers, auto parts makers have also suspended production. They include Sundaram Clayton, Pricol and L G Balakrishna Brothers.

Meanwhile, Rajan Wadhera, President, Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM), said on Monday that in view of the deteriorating situation arising out of Covid-19, SIAM and ACMA have requested their members to consider shut down of the plant for a limited period.

Toyota Kirloskar

Our Bengaluru Bureau adds: Toyota Kirloskar Motor has decided to temporarily halt production at its plants in Bidadi, Karnataka, till further announcement, a statement from the company said.

TKM has also expanded the work-from-home rule to all its employees at its Regional Strategic Business Units (SBUs) in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru.

Toyota has two plants at Bidadi, 40 km from Bengaluru, with a total capacity of 3.1 lakh units per year.

Dabur India

Dabur India on Monday said that in compliance with the government directive, it has temporarily suspended production at its manufacturing units till March 31, except for essential products such as Ayurvedic medicines, Chyawanprash, hand sanitisers, hand wash in the larger public interest.

Published on March 23, 2020

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