car manufacturing india

Indian lockdown extended; Auto industry appeals to be ‘essential service’

The ongoing nationwide lockdown in India to control the spread of Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic has been further extended for two weeks, and will remain on place at least until May 17.

Given the impact of the lockdown on the auto sector, industry bodies ACMA, SIAM and FADA have jointly written to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India (GoI) to regard the auto industry as ‘essential services’ and allow it to restart operations in complete unison. This will include vehicle manufacturers, component suppliers, dealers, service workshops, and the Regional Transport Authorities.

According to the document, it focused on the sector being integrated and interdependent, because of which a vehicle manufacturer will not be able to commence operations if any one of its providers is not able to undertake production.

It further added, “With USD 120 billion in turnover, the sector contributes 7% to India’s GDP, 49% to the manufacturing output and creates employment for more than 37 million people, directly and indirectly. The sector also exports $27 billion worth of vehicles and components annually.”

The sector is losing revenue to the tune of Rs 2,300 crore ($30.33 million) on daily basis. Starting of economic activity in the sector is therefore important and the only hope to infuse life back into this once vibrant industry, the joint submission said.

Significant auto players in the market have reported zero sales for the past month.

Under the current regulations, movement of individuals and vehicles is allowed only for particular activities, with a maximum of two persons (besides the driver) in four-wheeler vehicles, and with no pillion rider in the case of two-wheelers.

About 37,776 people in India have been confirmed as being infected with the coronavirus. The virus has killed 1,223 people in the country.

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