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Maruti and Suzuki shut plants in India to provide oxygen

Maruti Suzuki India has announced that it will shut down its plant in Manesar, Haryana to provide oxygen for the medical services in the country. Maruti’s parent company – Suzuki, which operates the plant in Gujarat has also decided to shut down its manufacturing operations as per the latest announcement from the Indian manufacturer.

Maruti Suzuki has decided to bring forward the annual maintenance of its plant, which is scheduled to take place in June of this year. Maruti Suzuki will now do its bi-annual maintenance shutdown from 1st May to 9th May.

As per the official statement released by Maruti Suzuki India, the manufacturing process requires the use of a small of oxygen in its factories. However, the manufacturers of its components, use large quantities of oxygen during the manufacturing process.

While Maruti Suzuki has not commented on whether the component manufacturers will also shut down the plants, since there will be a low demand for the components, they are likely to save oxygen. Here is the official statement from Maruti Suzuki India,

As part of the car manufacturing process, Maruti Suzuki uses a small amount of oxygen in its factories while relatively much larger quantities are used by the manufacturers of components. In the current situation, we believe that all available oxygen should be used to save lives.  Accordingly, Maruti Suzuki has decided to advance its maintenance shutdown, originally scheduled for June, to 1st to 9th May.  Production in all factories will close for maintenance during this period. The Company has been informed that Suzuki Motor Gujarat has taken the same decision for its factory.”

India is currently reeling under the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maruti Suzuki maintains orders

In a recent interview, Maruti Suzuki Chairman said that the manufacturer is maintaining the demand even in the pandemic situation. Bhargava said that Maruti Suzuki is maintaining stocks in its network too. There are about 90,000 units with the Maruti Suzuki network across India. The stock increased from nearly 32,000 units earlier this month.

Also, Maruti Suzuki has about 2 lakh bookings that are yet to be completed. The manufacturer is also receiving fresh bookings in this pandemic. However, due to the lockdowns in the local sites including Delhi and Mumbai, 35% of its retail sales have become affected.

Price hike

Maruti Suzuki has also announced multiple price hikes this year. The price hikes are done due to the higher input costs. Also, there is a severe shortage of semi-conductors in the market and due to its low availability, the manufacturers are under stress.

Maruti Suzuki India employs more than 30,000 workers. Out of these workers, about 1,280 are COVID-19 positive. However, that has not affected the availability of the workers and has not even affected the production. However, Bhargava did say that he cannot predict what the future holds for them and the pandemic may disrupt the production again. India saw a couple of months with no production and sales in 2020 due to the nationwide lockdown.