Auto firms halt on COVID-19

Jobs and salaries will be protected, the firms say

With many districts under a lockdown across the country amid efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, automobile and auto component makers are temporarily shutting down their manufacturing plants.

Industry bodies for the sector — Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) and Auto Component Manufacturers Association of India (ACMA) — have issued statements, requesting members to consider plant shutdown for a limited period so that workers are not exposed to the virus.

Work from home

On Monday, TVS Motor said it would halt all manufacturing operations at its plants in India and Indonesia till further notice. “All relevant employees have already been provided with work-from-home facility,” the company said, assuring it will protect jobs and salaries. Kia Motors also temporarily suspended operations at its Anantpur plant in Andhra Pradesh “in view of the unprecedented situation arising out of the spread of COVID-19 and keeping in mind the safety and well-being of all our consumers, employees, workers, partners, and associates pan India plant.

General Motors, too, has suspended production at its Talegaon facility in Maharashtra till March 31. India Yamaha Motor has suspended operations at its plants in Tamil Nadu, U.P. and Haryana till March 31.

Renault India said it has temporarily suspended production at its alliance manufacturing facility, Renault Nissan Automotive India Private Ltd. (RNAIPL) in Chennai. “The health, safety and well-being of all Renault employees, dealers and other partners, their families and community at large is of utmost priority. In view of the escalating COVID-19 situation and to help prevent spread of the virus, production has been temporarily suspended at our alliance plant We will await further notifications from the State government to resume operations,” said Venkatram Mamillapalle, country CEO & Managing Director, Renault India Operations.

Rockman Industries, the auto-components arm of the Hero Group, has suspended all operations at its seven facilities till March 31. “All Rockman employees, contractual and permanent, will be retained. Rockman has an employee strength of 7,200 spread across their operations, the company said in a statement.

On Sunday, automakers including Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai Motor, Honda Cars, Hero MotoCorp, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) had announced temporary plant closures.

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