COVID-19: How and when carmakers are restarting production in India
With the government starting to ease the COVID-19 lockdown, at least in phases, carmakers have started to take the first steps towards getting their plants and dealerships up and running. With strict social distancing and hygiene protocols in place, most have been beginning production in phases which ramp up as conditions improve.
The country's largest carmaker will start production at its Manesar facility from May 12 onwards. The company will most likely start by manufacturing 45,000 cars in May, which will be ramped up to 60,000 in June. The carmaker usually produces 1.5 lakh cars a month. About 600 of the brands over 3,000 dealerships are also reopening, but with strict procedures in place to stop the spread of the virus.
The Korean carmaker had begun production from May 6. Like Maruti, Hyundai will produce 12,500 to 13,000 units at its plant in Chennai and gradually ramp up to the 60,000 cars that it usually makes each month. The firm has also dispatched 6.8 lakh masks, 20,000 half-litre and 1.5 lakh 100ml cases of hand sanitisers to its dealerships around the country for the protection of consumers and staff. Reports suggest that the brand will open around 150 dealerships.
While a date has not been released for Toyota to resume production, the company has developed a comprehensive document that will guide firms in restarting operations after the COVID-19 lockdown. The document termed 'Restart Manual' can be used by any manufacturing firm to reorganise and safely resume business operations while keeping health standards in place to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. A similar manual for dealerships has also been created.
Honda Cars India is set to resume production at its Tapukara plant in Rajasthan sometime next week following the norms laid down by the Central and State Government as well as the local authorities. Preliminary work is ongoing to facilitate this, the company is also looking at solving the logistical challenges of arranging manpower to its plants. The company's other facility in Greater Noida hasn't received clearance yet, given a large number of cases in that region.
MG Motor India
MG Motor India has stated that it is looking to restart production while keeping in mind all protocols set forth by the government. The company's production is also dependent on whether their suppliers can begin production as well, given that they are located in hotspots like Pune and Gujarat.
Mercedes-Benz India has begun operations partially at its plant in Chakan, Pune. Production has begun in a graded manner, in line with directives set by the state government. Employees who are not needed to be present at work to complete their deliverables, continue to work from home. Certain dealerships have opened as well, as per government permissions.
Isuzu India has announced that it will be resuming operations at its SriCity plant in Andhra Pradesh, for which it has attained all the necessary permissions from the government authorities. The company is now working with its component manufacturers to commence deliveries from its plant.
BMW India has resumed operations at its facility near Chennai, in keeping with guidelines issued by the government. Local production has begun at the facility with less than 50 per cent of the workforce. Operations are being carried out in a single shift while the rest of the employees continue to work from home. The National Sales Company and BMW India Financial Services based out of BMW Group's India headquarters in Gurugram will continue to work from home. BMW, MINI and BMW Motorrad Dealerships across the country will restart the operations once they receive clearances from local authorities. maintaining the necessary safety and hygiene measures.
The American carmaker is set to resume production after May 18. In the meantime, Ford has announced its 'Dial a Ford' facility that focusses on convenience and safety of the customers. This service helps the customers interact with a Ford dealership and service centre without leaving their homes. Dial a Ford enables a potential customer to book a test drive and get the new Ford vehicle delivered at the doorstep and the existing Ford owners can use the pick and drop service. The facility also provides online consultation and notifies the customers with regular updates of the service. The facility has integrated digital transaction as well.
This is a continuously developing story, we will be adding responses from manufacturers as and when we have them.