Tata Motors, Bajaj Auto see no impact of Maharashtra restrictions yet

Informist, Wednesday, Apr 7, 2021


By Satyanarayan Iyer


PUNE – Automakers Tata Motors and Bajaj Auto have ruled out any impact at this stage of the current restrictions in Maharashtra on production in any of their operations in the state.


With cases rising in Maharashtra, the state government on Sunday announced weekend lockdowns and also tightened curbs on public places such as restaurants, multiplexes, malls. However, manufacturing sector has been allowed to continue, albeit with tight norms on testing and vaccination.


"At this stage, there is no impact on our operations. The administration has been a great support when the night curfew was imposed. Industries have been allowed to operate and employees are able to commute from and to home and our plant without hindrance by following necessary COVID-19 protocol," a spokesperson from Tata Motors said.


This is unlike last year, when there was a near total shutdown of factories and they required special permissions to operate. The administration has this time exempted workers going to-and-fro from factories from the restrictions.


Industry representatives had asked local governments last year to allow people to use personal transport, in addition to company transport, but the administration were reluctant as they believed movement wouldn't be restricted in that case.


After Maharashtra's announcement on Sunday, industry bodies have sought an exemption to the RT-PCR tests that is to be conducted on employees every 15 days, saying that it lacks scientific basis. Mandatory tests for those travelling with a valid purpose kicks in from Apr 10 in Maharashtra.


In Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad, where the automakers have a significant presence, the restrictions are even tighter than rest of the state. The Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad administration have increased the span of night curfew by two hours from 1800 IST to 0700 IST compared to the state's 2000 IST to 0700 IST.


Bajaj Auto's Executive Director, Rakesh Sharma, told Informist that "industries are allowed to function" and "so we are fine".


Last year, work at Bajaj Auto's Waluj plant in Aurangabad ran into trouble when over 150 employees tested positive for COVID-19, and village authorities were unwilling to let the employees travel to the plant.


Despite a better-than-expected recovery, Bajaj Auto ended 2020-21 (Apr-Mar) with 14% lower vehicle sales.


Tata Motors managed to gain market share in 2020-21 in the passenger vehicle segment even as the commercial vehicle sales were impacted. The company sold eight out of every 100 passenger vehicles sold in India compared to five out of every 100 previously.


Bajaj Auto sells about 20 of every 100 motorcycles sold in India.


Tata Motors said it has tied up with local authorities to vaccinate all eligible employees.


At 1149 IST, shares of Tata Motors were 0.3% higher at 308.55 rupees, and those of Bajaj Auto were up 1.3% at 3,663 rupees on the National Stock Exchange.  End


IST, or Indian Standard Time, is five-and-a-half hours ahead of GMT


Edited by Shirsha Thakur


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