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Hero MotoCorp Ltd – country’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer – on Wednesday announced decision to stop vehicle production at its factories between April 22 and May 1, as a result of the surge in cases Covid-19 across the country. The company will utilise this period to conduct the annual maintenance activity that usually takes place twice a year, once in May- June period and the second time in December.

The company had to take a similar decision last year as well production was suspended from March 22 to and first week of May when strict lockdown measures imposed by the union government to contain the spread of Covid-19.

Due to an exponential surge in cases of Covid-19, different state governments have already decided to impose strict lockdowns or curfews, impacting production of vehicles in different parts of the country.

According to statement issued by Hero, each plant and its Global Parts Centre will remain closed for four days, in a staggered manner between April 22 and May 1, basis the local scenario.

“The company will utilize these shut-down days to carry out necessary maintenance work in the manufacturing plants. The shutdown will not impact the company’s ability to meet the demand, which has been impacted due to localized shutdowns in many states and production loss will be compensated during the remainder of the quarter. All plants will resume normal operations post this short shutdown period," the statement further added.

Most auto makers are facing limitations in their production processes since supply of parts from component manufacturers has been affected due to curfews and lockdowns. State governments though, this time, did not ask auto manufacturers and suppliers to stop assembly lines to limit the impact on economic activity.

Last year, automobile manufacturers saw swift recovery in demand after the lockdown due to improved economic activity and increased shift towards personal transport. Other manufacturers in different segments might also follow Hero’s decision due to new restrictions and increased cases of Covid among employees.

“In keeping with its commitment to the safety and welfare of its people, Hero MotoCorp has decided to proactively halt operations temporarily at all of its manufacturing facilities across the country, including its Global Parts Center (GPC), in view of the ongoing escalation in the spread of Covid-19 across the country," the statement said.

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