India’s biggest automaker Maruti Suzuki India and other automobile industries including Mahindra & Mahindra, Mercedes-Benz, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), as well as Hyundai Motor Co said they would halt car production in the country due to the coronavirus outbreak and the extreme global lockdown.
This move came into existence after automakers shut down plants last week in Europe, the United States, Canada, and Mexico as the global death toll from coronavirus exceeded over 14,000.
Mahindra & Mahindra that makes sports vehicles, said that they might take the initiative to start making ventilators for coronavirus patients at its manufacturing plants, mirroring similar efforts by other automakers, including Ferrari and Fiat.
Almost 341 people have so far contracted the disease in India, and ten deaths have been reported in the country, the government suspended most of the trains and metro services nationwide and ordered for the closure and shut down in several states until March 31.
Maruti, which produces the most number of cars in the country, said it would immediately shut production and office operations at its facilities in the northern state of Haryana.
The western state of Maharashtra that is Pune, has the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in India, is home to one of India’s most significant auto hubs, where several carmakers are set to stop production until March 31.
Mahindra has shut down manufacturing at its plants in the entire country and will suspend work at all other units from Monday, was told in a statement.
The group company chairman, Mr.Anand Mahindra, tweeted that the company will soon begin to start making new ventilators at its plants in various districts.
“A lockdown over the next few weeks will help to flatten the curve and the pressure on medical care units and overcome the threat, ” Mahindra said, that it will offer its holiday resorts as temporary care facilities and help the government in building such centers.
Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz and Fiat and bike maker Bajaj Auto owners also said they would halt production at their units in Pune and Mumbai until March 31. Fiat said it would continue to pay salaries to all its employees.
India’s top-selling bike maker Hero MotoCorp Ltd said on Sunday it has stopped manufacturing at all its plants not only in India but also in Bangladesh and Colombia.
Indian carmaker Tata Motors Ltd said on Friday that it was rapidly scaling down activity at its car factory in Mumbai and was preparing to close it if concerns and crisis about coronavirus get out of hand.
Meanwhile, Volkswagen AG’s India unit said on Sunday it has halted the production in the country for more than three weeks as a part of an initiative taken by them and is ensuring the safety for all its employees by not only providing holidays but also paying for them.
South Korea’s Hyundai Motor said on Monday that it was suspending production at its plant in Chennai from Monday by the end of March in response to the state government’s lockdown measures as the virus spreads.
“Concerning about the safety and wellbeing of its employees as one of their top priorities in the COVID-19 crisis, Hero MotoCorp has made a decision to stop operations at almost all of its global manufacturing facilities in India, and the Global Parts Centre (GPC) at Neemrana with immediate effect of the shutdown until March 31, 2020,” the company said in a statement. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles that makes the Compass SUV cars in our country and Fiat Automobiles Pvt Ltd have also announced to suspend operations and announced lockdown at their Ranjangaon factory till the end of this month.