Automakers Launch Production Rampage With Relaxation Of Covid Restrictions In States

With the easing of the COVID-19 situation in various states, the country’s major automakers have taken steps to increase production to “normal levels” in order to meet pent-up demand, clear the backlog and to reduce waiting times on their products.

Auto companies, which have been forced to temporarily close shutters due to closures and curfews, expect business activity to resume with the opening of dealerships in all states.

“With the easing of the lockdown in various states, production is gradually increasing and is expected to stabilize at normal levels by the end of the month,” the president of Tata Motors’ passenger vehicle business unit told PTI. , Shailesh Chandra.

He noted that production at the company’s passenger vehicle factories was operating at around 50% of capacity during the lockdown period in April and May, limited by pandemic restrictions and adherence to safety protocols as well as by lack of supply from partner suppliers located in automotive clusters in various states. .

The country’s largest automaker, however, added that challenges related to global semiconductor shortages continue to hamper the ramp-up of production.

“We expect the semiconductor issue to continue to negatively impact our production in the next quarter as well,” noted Chandra.

Mahindra and Mahindra (Automotive Division) CEO Veejay Nakra said the automaker is carefully reviewing the demand and supply situation and recalibrating its operations accordingly while protecting the interests of its customers, dealers and suppliers. .

“The effort is to ensure an optimal level of stock in factories and dealers in order to prepare for a rebound in demand once the situation returns to normal,” he added.

A spokesperson for the country’s largest automaker

noted that operations at its factories have resumed with due caution and that revised safety protocols have been put in place.

“We are increasing production with caution. Meanwhile, we continue to vaccinate all employees and their families as a priority. More than 36,000 employees have already received the first vaccine,” said the automotive major.

According to SIAM data, overall vehicle production in May fell 57% to 8,06,755 units from 18,75,698 units in April this year.

Likewise, passenger vehicle production fell 58% to 1,28,225 units compared to 3,05,952 units in April.

Rajesh Goel, senior vice president and director (sales and marketing) of Honda Cars India, said that with relaxations on the opening of dealerships in place in all states, the company expects an improvement in business activity in the future.

“So far dealers contributing 42% of our sales have opened and as a result we are operating at less than 50% of the daily production we had before the second wave hit the country. This should gradually increase. starting next month, “he added.

Likewise, Tae-Jin Park, executive director and director of sales and business strategy at Kia India, said the automaker is preparing to increase production to meet existing and future demands and plans to start the third shift. in its factory in Anantapur. very soon.

He added that the company is optimistic that the market will recover faster with the vaccination campaign underway.

“We have received consistent demand for all of our products even under the most difficult economic and industrial conditions and expect demand to increase further as markets begin to open in phases,” Park said. .

Likewise, Tarun Garg, director (sales and marketing) of Hyundai Motor India, said the company has already launched two shifts at its plant in Chennai and the third will start from June 21.

The head of luxury automaker Audi India, Balbir Singh Dhillon, said the company is increasing production at the Aurangabad plant for the models currently produced there – the Audi A4 and Audi A6.

“At the same time, we are also preparing for the upcoming products which will be produced in India in the near future,” he noted.

Like automakers, two-wheeler manufacturers have also remained cautiously optimistic about the upcoming business scenario and are taking steps to increase their capacity.

“With the gradual unlocking in different states, all of our factories have resumed production with one shift. We are closely monitoring the development of market dynamics while maintaining our cautious optimism. With the opening of many regions and the resumption of business activities, we hope that further easing of economic activity will follow in the times to come, ”noted HMSI (Sales and Marketing) Director Yadvinder Singh Guleria.

Going forward, the company will evaluate its production plan and gradually increase its operations with two teams based on a visible gain in sales momentum, he added.

Likewise, mid-size bike maker Royal Enfield noted that with the situation stabilizing and blockages easing, it resumed production on May 31.

“We are gradually increasing production at our manufacturing facilities as supply chain disruptions occur, to meet the backlog of backlog and the current generation of demand,” he said.

Consumer demand continues to be robust and the company has strong order books in its motorcycle portfolio, he added.

“The success of the Meteor and the recent launch of the Himalayan continues to fuel demand in urban and rural markets,” said Royal Enfield, part of

, declared.

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