Hyundai Motor India Ltd – country’s second largest passenger vehicle manufacturer – on Sunday announced reopening of its Tamil Nadu-based factories from 6 May, in order to start preparations for commencing vehicle production operations in the following weeks. This move comes close on the heels of the union government allowing gradual resumption of economic activity, by relaxing lockdown measures, in certain parts of the country identified as green and orange zones.
Car makers like Hyundai had to close their factories from 22 March, following the lockdown announced by the union and state governments to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. The company, though, in the meantime was working with its suppliers to create standard operating procedures (SOP) that need to be followed once manufacturing starts.
“Welcoming the announcement by the central and state governments as a fillip to restarting the economic activity, Hyundai Motor India Ltd (HMIL) plans to restart its preparatory operations in the Irungattukkottai-based factory on the May 6, 2020, while adhering to guidelines laid out by the government authorities," Hyundai’s spokesperson said in a statement on Sunday.
Mint, on April 29, first reported that more than a month after shutting their entire operations, India’s top two passenger vehicle makers, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd and Hyundai Motor India Ltd, are planning to start manufacturing operations in their respective factories from May.
Hyundai was planning to manufacture around 12,000 to 13,000 vehicles in May while Maruti Suzuki was expected to make just 45,000 units. Both companies internally decided on these projections.
New entrant, MG Motor India, has already started manufacturing from its Gujarat based plant in the last week of April.
“As a responsible corporate citizen, Hyundai has made comprehensive detail-oriented plans for the complete safety and sanitation of all its facilities inside the plant, to ensure the wellness of its employees. HMIL confirms complete adherence to all the safety guidelines set out by the central and state Governments, and local authorities," the statement further noted.
Though companies like Hyundai and Maruti are gearing up to start manufacturing operations, some of the smaller carmakers are unlikely to start soon due to the lack of demand in the domestic and global markets and some might take a decision at the end of May or in June.
According to industry experts, the dealers of the top two vehicle manufacturers have less than ten days inventory of Bharat Stage 6 emission norms compliant vehicles. Hence, they want to commence operations as soon as possible.