Automobile companies to restart operations, manufacturers like Bajaj Auto, Ashok Leyland, Maruti to restart operations slowly amidst Covid-19 as per the guidelines and measures provided by the Government of India. Bajaj Auto got a nod to open its Waluj plant which generates about half its revenue from overseas. Other Automobile companies like Ashok Leyland and Maruti Suzuki also got approval to restart operations and got green light from the authorities.
Automobile companies that resume operations:
The truck-maker Ashok Leyland got approval to start three of its plants, while Bajaj Auto has got the approval to resume production for its Maharashtra Facility that is exports-focused unit. The Japanese Giant Maruti Suzuki can also restart single shift operations partially at its factory at Manesar from next week.
“We are currently working out the supply chain readiness, post which we will resume operations and commence production in line with demand,” said NV Balachandar, president – HR, Communication and CSR, Ashok Leyland.
The government had relaxed guidelines for extended lockdown and allowed industrial units in rural areas or outside municipal limits to resume partial operations under strict safety and hygiene conditions from April 20. The truck-maker received permission from the relevant authorities to resume operations at its Alwar, Bhandara and Pantnagar plants.
For Bajaj Auto, which generates about half its revenue from overseas, the approval has come in for its Waluj plant. It received approval for 850 people to attend work at the facility. Production of knocked-down kits of motorcycles and commercial vehicles for exports will resume at the plant from Thursday. Rakesh Sharma, executive director, Bajaj Auto, said that the company wanted to begin some kind of production as there was approx. ₹1,000 crore worth of export orders to serve.
The Maharashtra government has, however, has withdrawn its decision to restart operations at areas nearby Chakan near Pune. The municipal commissioners of the Pune and the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation ordered sealing of all areas on Sunday within their limits until April 27 to contain the rising number of Covid-19 cases.
For the domestic market, Bajaj Auto has enough stock of BS-VI emission norms compliant vehicles to recoup a part of the lost volume of March and April in the coming months.
Several leading automakers said that they are not in a hurry to resume production for the domestic market as there would be supply chain management issues and there was sufficient stock in their channels to serve any pent-up demand once the lockdown ended.
As far as the Maruti Suzuki operatins are concerned, the Gurugram administration has allowed Maruti Suzuki to restart its operations at its manufacturing facility in Manesar on one shift, the company has not taken a decision on commencing production yet.
According to the permission certificate granted to Maruti, the company is authorised to have a total of 4,696 personnel and 50 vehicles during the lockdown.
Sources in the know, however, said the company has started allowing select employees to begin the fumigation and maintenance of the factory before the real production begins in the coming few days. Meanwhile, the company will utilise this time to re-align its supply chain and ensure readiness at the factory.
Production may begin from Monday, April 27, and Maruti Suzuki may be able to produce about 15,000 units in April, sources said.
Honda Cars India, too, is yet to decide on resuming operations.
“Our Tapukara plant by location guidelines qualifies in the green zone but the actual production commencement will be decided later,” said Rajesh Goel, senior vice president & director (marketing & sales), Honda Cars India.
Meanwhile, Apollo Tyres Tuesday partially resumed operations at its facility in Kerala.