Maintaining the notion that the safety and welfare of its employees comes first, Hero MotoCorp announced that it is temporarily suspending operations in all its manufacturing facilities across India. It’s Global Parts Center (GPC) and other related plants will also be affected by the decision which was taken keeping in mind the massive surge in COVID-19 cases.
The largest two-wheeler maker is the first major manufacturer to adopt such precautionary measures, even as the Centre reaffirmed that a nation-wide lockdown like the previous year would not be repeated.
“The shutdown will not impact the company’s ability to meet demand, which has been impacted due to localised shutdowns in many states and production loss will be compensated during the remainder of the quarter. The company will utilise these shut-down days to carry out necessary maintenance work in the manufacturing plants,” a statement by the company read.
Each plant and GPC will remain shut for four days in alternating sequence, between April 22 and May 1. This will differ based on the local situation around the plants. The corporate offices of the company have already shifted to the Work-From-Home (WFH) mode, with a skeletal crew providing essential services from offices in rotation.
Post-lockdown last May, Hero recorded significant rise in sales due to the pent-up demands and the approaching festive season. The necessity for a much smaller, personal vehicle boosted Hero’s entry-level motorcycle sales, raising production levels in October to 80,000 units.
The company has six manufacturing plants located in Haridwar, Dharuhera, Gurgaon, Neemrana, Vadodara and Chittor, capable of churning out 11.6 million units. It also has 8,599 permanent employees and another 21,091 on temporary/contractual/casual basis, according to its annual report.
This move by the two-wheeler giant will no doubt result in decreased production, but the company’s policy of ‘safety first’ is exemplary. With looming restrictions and a few states going into lockdown mode, it remains to be seen if other big names in the industry will follow Hero MotoCorp’s steps.