As a precaution against spread of coronavirus across India, top companies such as Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Samsung, Hero Moto, Ford, Honda, LG, and Havells announced factory closures till the end of this month. The categories that will be impacted by the lockdown include cars, SUVs, motorcycles, scooters, refrigerators, ACs, washing machines, and even mobile phones.
The companies said that a review will be conducted around the month-end to assess whether the lockdown needs to be carried forward, or lifted progressively. Even industry bodies Siam (for auto companies) and ACMA (for parts makers) asked companies to consider “limited-period shutdowns”.
The production closures come amid growing worry over the spread of the virus, and fear that the cases of infected persons may be on the rise. Also, with the Centre and many state governments putting restrictions on the use of public transport as well as movement of non-essential cargo, the step was deemed as necessary.
Maruti said the company has taken the decision upon an advisory issued by the Haryana government. Samsung also said that its factory in Noida will be shut down. LG said its Pune plant is shut till the end of the month, while the Greater Noida factory will remain closed till March 25.
“With the safety and wellbeing of employees as top priority in view of the escalating COVID-19 situation, Hero MotoCorp has decided to halt operations at all its global manufacturing facilities - India, Colombia and Bangladesh - and the Global Parts Centre (GPC) at Neemrana with immediate effect,” the country’s largest two-wheeler maker said.
Officials say that with retail also being shut at most of the locations, due to the closure of malls and shopping areas, there is not much of a pressure to immediately have the production facilities up and running. Sources said that operations at factories of phone companies such as Oppo and Vivo are also being reviewed in view of the escalating concerns around the virus.