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Hero Motocorp shuts plants amid Covid surge, first such action by big firm

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date
Hero Motocorp shuts plants amid Covid surge, first such action by big firm

New Delhi: As India fights with century’s biggest pandemic that has claimed millions of lives across the world, country’s leading two-wheeler manufacturer, Hero MotoCorp, on Tuesday announced a to stop its manufacturing operations at all its facilities for four days, in a staggered manner between April 22 and May 1, 2021.

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With this decision the company has become the first major manufacturer to announce a temporary suspension of production as a precautionary measure, even as the government has maintained that there won’t be a nationwide lockdown.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the company said, “In keeping with its commitment to the safety and welfare of its people, Hero MotoCorp has decided to proactively halt operations temporarily at all of its manufacturing facilities across the country, including its Global Parts Center (GPC), in view of the ongoing escalation in the spread of Covid-19 across the country.”

One of the biggest two-wheeler manufacturers in the world, Hero MotoCorp has six manufacturing plants with a total manufacturing capacity of 11.6 million units. Its plants in India are located in Haridwar, Dharuhera, Gurgaon, Neemrana, Vadodara and Chittoor.

According to the company’s annual report for the year ended March 2020, Hero MotoCorp has 8,599 permanent employees and 21,091 employees hired on temporary/contractual/casual basis.

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Stating that each of its plants and GPC will remain shut for four days in a staggered manner between April 22 and May 1, 2021, it said the shutdown will not impact company’s ability to meet the demand and that the production loss will be compensated during the remainder of the quarter. “All plants will resume normal operations post this short shutdown period,” it added.

The company also said it would utilise this shutdown to carry out necessary maintenance work in its manufacturing plants.

While Hero MotoCorp is one of the biggest players to have announced such a measure, some medium-scale companies too have shut down their plants fearing the spread of Covid.

Anil Bhardwaj, Secretary General, Federation of Indian Micro and Small & Medium Enterprises, said some companies associated with his association have also announced a shutdown on a voluntary basis to break the chain. “While there is no nationwide lockdown, it is important for companies to take a call on shutdown based on the Covid situation locally,” said Bhardwaj.

Imposing self lockdown, Kanohar Electricals, a leading power transformer manufacturer in Meerut, too announced that its plant would be shut for three days beginning Monday. “We have closed the plant and will review the situation on Wednesday. A four-day shutdown will help break the chain and give us clarity on the situation of employees and workers,” said Dinesh Singhal, MD, Kanohar Electricals. He also said that he plans to rotate the employees and postpone the work that is not critical.

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