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NEW DELHI: Toyota Kirloskar Motor Ltd, a unit of Toyota Motor Corp, on Tuesday said it has restarted production at its two factories in Karnataka. Manufacturing operations had to be suspended due to the explosive rise in cases of covid-19 in Karnataka and other states.

“TKM confirms partial resumption of operations at its plant at Bidadi in Karnataka beginning 15 June, 2021. Operating at the prescribed workforce strength of 50%, TKM will resume its operations as well as enhance training of all employees for the “new normal", both in terms of facilities and processes. Furthermore, all such operations will be carried out in strict concurrence with all state and central government’s directives," said the company in a statement.

The auto industry came under pressure from the first week of April when Maharashtra rolled out strict lockdown measures. Delhi, Haryana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and others followed suit. Maruti Suzuki, Hero MotoCorp Ltd, Hyundai and others either stopped production or reduced output significantly.

Some like Bajaj Auto Ltd, however, continued to operate with limited capacity to meet export orders. With a steady drop in infections, especially in northern and southern India, most automakers have resumed operations from the middle of May.

“Since the outbreak of the pandemic, we are very clear that we will respond to the needs of those in the midst of this outbreak, making prompt decisions and taking immediate action to help ensure safety and security of all our employees and other stakeholders. On the manufacturing side, we are trying to ensure that all possible measures and preparations are made to resume production soon, so as to be able to cater to the immediate mobility needs of our customers, at the earliest," the company said in the statement.

In the past few months, most automakers are focusing on vaccinating their production and sales staff to efficiently run their production lines and reduce cases of covid- 19 in their factory and office premises. Some are also bearing the cost of vaccination of employees at dealerships and service centres.

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