Yamaha India and Honda Motorcycles and Scooter India (HMSI) are looking to restart operations in their respective factories post the lockdown, which is supposed to end on May 3, 2020. According to the Press Trust of India (PTI) the companies will resume operations only after careful assessment of a number of factors, in order to ensure a smooth operation.
While the companies seek permission from the government, they've also promised to adhere to mandated safety protocols that will be required to continue operations. The government has suggested social distancing, regular sanitisation and a minimal work force to ensure the health and safety of those working in these factories.
This means that operations will not begin in full swing but rather get ramped up gradually as more people are allowed to resume work. But ramping-up production capacity is just one part of the many challenges that the companies face.
A number of component suppliers are shut due to the lockdown and will require permission to be opened up for business. With some of these component manufacturers fall in COVID-19 hotspot areas and have limited manpower due to the large migrant exodus it'll be difficult to ensure that all the required parts are available on the assembly line.
Then there's the problem of transportation. Sanjiv Paul, India Yamaha Motors, senior vice president for manufacturing told PTI that despite the government's nod to allow trucks to ply on roads, truck drivers' availability is limited.
Considering all these factors, it is necessary for these companies to ensure that all links are in place for smooth functioning. However, manufacturing is just one side of the coin. The companies are also evaluating demand, which is expected to pick up gradually over the next couple of months. This is also based on permissions for dealerships to resume operations, customer footfalls, and willingness to spend on a two-wheeler during economic uncertainty.
While the COVID-19 national lockdown was required to curb the spread of the virus, it has also become imperative to restart economic activities for majority of the population to stay afloat. Besides HMSI and Yamaha, several automobile manufacturers are working on restarting operations with strict safety protocols in place. With states across India working on a lockdown exit plan, we wait to see how the Auto sector responds to measures post lockdown. Stay tuned for more.
Bajaj resumes operations at Aurangabad plant
2-wheeler sales in India hit a four-year low
Honda to replace its Aviator with a new product