AGENCIES, Kolkata: As the total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country is close to 400 and over 80 cities put under lockdown, several automotive industry players have decided in view of health concerns of its workers to temporarily suspend production given the current situation.
Maruti Suzuki, Tata Motors, Mahindra, Bajaj Auto, Fiat Chrysler India, Force and Hyundai have announced their respective plans in this respect. Most of the automakers have plants in Maharashtra, the most affected state as far as coronavirus cases are concerned.
Maruti Suzuki has suspended production at its Gurgaon and Manesar plants in accordance with a government notice that stated all private, corporate establishments and factories are required to be completely shut down until March 31, 2020. Maruti’s R&D Centre in Rohtak will also remain closed.
Fiat Chrysler Indi’s Jeep Compass is made in Ranjangaon in Maharashtra. Mahindra has several units spread out in the country has also decided to suspend operations at Chakan, Kandivali and Nagpur. Mahindra actually stopped producing cars late February. Mahindra said its officers across the country will work from home.
German luxury carmaker Mercedes Benz India has also shut its Chakan facility for the time being. The company’s administrative departments have also been shut till Mar 31. The suspension period could be extended depending on how the coronavirus situation progresses.
Volkswagen India facilities have been shut even before the coronavirus pandemic hit the country as the company was upgrading the plant for its India 2.0 Project.
Force Motors have also shut production at their plant in Akurdi, Pune till Mar 31.
Tata Motors has also announced a temporary shutdown of its Pune plant and will scale down work with skeletal operations by end of Monday. A day later, that is on Tuesday, there’s option for a complete plant closure.
Among the two-wheeler makers in India, Bajaj Auto Limited has suspended production at Chakan plant and put in travel restriction for its staff.
Hero MotoCorp which also makes a range of two-wheelers announced on Sunday that it has suspended production at all its sites across the globe up to Mar 31.
While most auto and two-wheeler brands will decide further action after Mar 31, Hyundai Motor India has suspended operations at its Chennai facility for an indefinite period, starting from March 23. In a statement, HMIL said, “We will await further notifications from the state (Tamil Nadu) government to resume operations at the plant.”