Maruti Suzuki India, the largest automobile manufacturer in India, and its peers such as Mahindra & Mahindra, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Hyundai Motor Co., and Mercedes-Benz, have reportedly announced that they will be halting production activities in their plants across the nation due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The announcement comes after automobile manufacturers closed off plants throughout the U.S., Europe, Mexico, and Canada as the total number of coronavirus fatalities exceeded the 13,000 mark.
Mahindra & Mahindra, the renowned Indian SUV maker stated that it is planning to focus its resources towards manufacturing ventilators for COVID-19 patients, following the footsteps of other automakers such as Fiat and Ferrari.
Approximately, 341 individuals have contracted the viral disease in India, which has already reported five deaths so far. In light of these events, the Indian government has suspended a majority of metro and train services in the country and has also ordered closure of stores across several states till March 31st, 2020.
Maruti, which produces one in every two vehicles sold across India, stated that it would be immediately closing office operations and production at its plants located in Haryana. The company added that the duration of the shutdown would be dependent upon government policies.
The state of Maharashtra, which recorded the most number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the nation, is home to one of its biggest automobile manufacturing hubs, Pune. Numerous automakers located in Pune are expected to stop production till March of 31 or indefinitely, is the situation worsens.
Mahindra has already stopped production activities at one of its Maharashtra-based plants and is further set to halt activities in two other plants soon. Mahindra group chairman, Anand Mahindra, stated that the company would immediately focus on how the company can manufacture ventilators across its plants.
Similarly, other automakers including Mercedes-Benz, Fiat, Bajaj Auto, and Hero MotoCorp would stop manufacturing production in their Pune plants, with Hero even stopping production across India, Colombia, and Bangladesh.