Maruti Suzuki has finally restarted production at its Manesar facility from today. The company resumed production at the Manesar unit after 40 days as all the factories and production facilities were closed across the country due to COVID-19 pandemic. The country's biggest automaker has started production with upto 75 percent employees in a single shift. The operations at both the Gurgaon and Manesar plants of MSIL were suspended on March 22 as PM Narendra Modi had announced a nationwide lockdown from March 23.
“Production has commenced at the Manesar plant and the first car would roll out today (Tuesday),” Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) Chairman R C Bhargava told PTI. When asked about the resumption of full-swing operations, Bhargava said that it would solely depend on the regulations issued by the government such as when it will allow double shifts, when the strength of employees will be increased and when the supply chain would return to fitter level. On the question of restarting the production at Gurgaon facility, he said “it will start, but not yet”. Though, Maruti Suzuki had got permission to commence production at Manesar Plant on April 22 itself but the company told that it will start production only when it can maintain continuous production and sell vehicles, “which is not possible at this point of time”.
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Earlier, the local authorities at Gurgaon had allowed Maruti to start manufacturing at Manesar unit on single shift while fixing the number of employees at 4696. The permission to resume production was granted as it falls outside the limits of Gurugram Municipal Corporation, while the Gurugram facility falls within the city limits. Both the plants have a combined annual production capacity of 15.50 Lakh units. Bhargava also said that in present circumstances it was too early to predict how the lockdown will impact the industry sales this fiscal. He, however, quipped that cars in India are taxed the highest in the world. “I have always held that cars are too heavily taxed in India by both the central government as well as the state governments… The result is that carmakers in India pay much higher taxes than in most other developed parts of the world,” he concluded.