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Indian automotive industry donates more than 1000cr for COVID relief fund

Team OD  | Updated: April 01, 2020, 08:21 PM IST

Corona virus spread has brought the world to a grinding halt and in the darkest times like these, the superheroes come forward to help all of us. Despite being one of the worst hit industries, the Indian automotive diaspora has risen to the occasion and how!

Doyen of the Indian automotive industry, the Tata group that owns Tata Motors and Jaguar Land Rover marquee have been at the forefront again contributing a total of 1500 crores. This is in addition to the food packets being served to medical professionals from the kitchens of the Taj group of hotels.

Mahindra group chairman, Anand Mahindra, has taken a more hands on approach. After offering Mahindra's resort chain and facilities for quarantine centres, Mahindra engineers have developed ventilator systems for a mere Rs 7,500 that otherwise cost in lakhs per piece. Wanting to mass-produce them, this will certainly save the government tonnes of money that can be used to treat more patients and create better facilities.

India's largest car maker, Maruti Suzuki has tied up with AgVa, specialists in producing medical equipment, to ramp up the production of ventilators by providing manufacturing and financial support. Hyundai India has pledged to source testing kits from South Korea that will help expedite the detection of the infection. Ford has brought in face-shield designs and will be making them for the safety of thousands of health professionals battling the COVID-spread. Mercedes-Benz is working with local authorities near Pune to convert a 374 apartment building complex into a temporary hospital with isolation wards. The equipment will then be donated to the Civil hospital in Khed and other assets to tribal hostels.

2-wheeler manufacturers like Hero and Bajaj have pledged 100 crores each while the TVS-Sundaram group have pledged over 30 crores. MG Motors, still in its nascent stages in India, has pledged 2 crores to fight COVID-19 along with a month's salary of their MD. Kalyani group, owners of Bharat Forge, one of the biggest tier-I suppliers, have pledged 25 crores.

Carmakers have also stepped up in promoting social distancing and creating awareness. Helpful measures like extending warranties cannot be evaluated in just monetary terms just like the efforts to build ventilators and testing kits and quarantine facilities and more such efforts will be needed to recover from this pandemic.

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