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Maruti Suzuki to commence production of ventilators and masks as coronavirus cases surge

28th Mar 2020 2:15 pm

Maruti Suzuki and its component suppliers will manufacture medical devices as well as personal protective equipment as coronavirus (COVID-19) cases spike in India.

Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) has announced its efforts to scale up the production of ventilators in the country by entering into an agreement with AgVa Healthcare, an existing approved manufacturer of the critical medical equipment. The automaker will also help produce masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE) for the aid of healthcare providers at a time when COVID-19 cases are on a rapid rise across India.

The two organisations aim to work together to achieve a production target of 10,000 ventilators per month. AgVa Healthcare will be responsible for the technology, performance and related matters for all the ventilators produced and sold by them. Meanwhile, Maruti will leverage its suppliers for producing the required volume of components and tap into its technical know-how for upgrading systems for the production and quality control of the higher volumes of the medical equipment. MSIL has said that it will aid, to the required extent, to arrange financing. The automaker also says it will provide these services free of cost to AgVa Healthcare.

In terms of personal protective equipment, Bharat Seats Limited, a joint venture (JV) of MSIL with the Relan family, will commence manufacturing protective clothing as soon as appropriate approvals are received. Moreover, the OEM’s component supplier, Krishna Maruti Limited, which is also a JV between MSIL and Ashok Kapur, will take the responsibility of manufacturing 3-ply masks. The company aims to provide 20 lakh masks free of cost to the Haryana and Central governments.

In a similar move, Mahindra Group chairman, Anand Mahindra, had also earlier revealed his company’s intentions of contributing to the production of ventilators. Other automakers around the globe including Tesla, Ford, General Motors, Rolls Royce and Jaguar Land Rover have been approached by the governments in their respective countries to aid in the manufacture of the critical medical equipment.      

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