Automobile majors resume partial operations

India’s largest automaker Maruti Suzuki to restart vehicle production at Manesar plant from May 12

Royal Enfield, TVS Motor Company, MRF and Apollo Tyres resumed operations at their manufacturing facilities on Wednesday based on the government’s directions even as the country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki said it will restart vehicle production at its Manesar plant in Haryana on May 12.

Royal Enfield said its manufacturing unit at Oragadam, near Chennai, was the first to begin operations in a staggered manner, with minimal staff over a single shift.

“Employees and shop floor staff residing in and around plant locations will be aligned to work in these units so as to avoid long-distance travel and minimise contact during transportation. There will be complete compliance with norms of social distancing and workplace sanitisation,” the company said.

Operations at two other manufacturing facilities at Tiruvottiyur and Vallam Vadagal will resume in a phased manner, it said.

Dealerships stay closed

While a majority of Royal Enfield’s dealers will continue to remain closed, about 120 dealerships have begun partial operations, the company said in a regulatory filing to the stock exchanges.

“We expect about 300 dealerships, in all, to be operational by mid May with strict safety measures and social distancing norms followed at dealerships as well,” it added.

Meanwhile, MRF said it had partially resumed its operations at most of its plants with restricted manpower. Some of the stocking points have also partially resumed operations. The continuance of operations in these places however depends on directives of the local authorities, issued from time to time, based on the incidence of COVID-19 cases in the area concerned, it added. The operations will be scaled up as and when authorities relax the restrictions, MRF said.

Apollo Tyres said operations at its Chennai plant had partially resumed, adhering to the standard operating procedures/guidelines for industrial units, prescribed by the State government.

TVS Motor Company had commenced its operations in India across all its factories in Hosur, Mysuru and Nalagarh. A comprehensive preparedness manual has been designed for the employees to ensure complete adherence to necessary safety guidelines to help minimise the spread of the virus, it added.

Work-from-home option also continues for certain category of people, in adherence to respective State government guidelines, TVS Motor said.

Hyundai has also resumed partial operations.

“Maruti Suzuki India Limited would re-start production of vehicles at its Manesar plant from the 12th of May 2020,” the company said in a filing with the stock exchange.

“All activities would be carried out strictly in accordance with the government regulations and guidelines and observing the company’s own concern for the highest standards of safety,” the company added.

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