India’s 2nd largest two-wheeler maker Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt Ltd (HMSI) has now suspended production in 4 of its plants in India.
Pandemic 2nd Wave Halts Production
The plants affected are the ones in Manesar (Haryana), Tapukara (Rajasthan), Narsapura (Karnataka) and Vithalapur (Gujarat).
HMSI becomes another in a line of major automakers in India which have shuttered their factories in the wake of the pandemic’s 2nd wave.
The other companies include Hero MotoCorp Ltd, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd, Toyota Kirloskar Motor Ltd, and MG Motor.
Govt Ban On Industrial Use Of Oxygen Affecting Automakers
Auto component suppliers and hence, production facilities, require the use of liquid oxygen which has been banned by the Centre on April 25 in order to divert its use for medical purposes.
Due to this mandate, production cannot be carried out as usual, so many automobile companies have shuttered their manufacturing facilities.
Parallel Activities To Be Carried Out
Honda will try to take advantage of this closure by advancing their annual maintenance schedule which was originally in June to the lockdown period of 1 May to 15 May, 2021.
Office employees of Honda will be working from home in a continuing effort to break the virus transmission chain.
Only essential employees will be permitted to work in the plants with all hygiene and safety protocols in place.
Responses Of Other Automobile Firms
Hero MotoCorp had announced on April 20 that it is suspending production for a 10-day period between April 22 to May 1, well before the govt ban on use of oxygen in industries.
Maruti Suzuki is closing its Gurugram, Manesar and Gujarat factories from 1-9 May and will be redirecting its oxygen supply for medical purposes.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor Ltd will conduct its annual maintenance in its 2 factories in Karnataka from April 26 and May 14.
MG Motor is shutting down its factory in Halol, Vadodara for a week as reported by its president and managing director, Rajeev Chaba.
Production Ban Till Oxy Ban Lifted
Many employees in these companies have said that even though there is no official lockdown, the situation is similar to one since there can be no production and plants cannot be run if there is no oxygen to use.
Factories will henceforth remain shut till the ban on industrial use of oxygen is lifted, and they are hopeful that it won’t last beyond a fortnight.