At the end of April, 2021, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India, Hero MotoCorp, and others announced that they would temporarily shut down production at their various facilities across India. The reason: oxygen supplies used in manufacturing needed to be diverted to hospitals to fight the nation’s current COVID-19 surge.
On May 11, 2021, Yamaha Motor announced that it would suspend production at two of its motorcycle manufacturing facilities in India to join the fight. They will remain closed until the end of May. This move will divert oxygen, as well as prevent a production backlog since so many dealerships around the country are currently closed.
For its part, Hero MotoCorp has extended its temporary closure due to the ongoing pandemic crisis. Maruti Suzuki, one of the country’s largest automakers, initially announced closures around the same time as Honda and Hero. That company will also prolong its temporary closure in aid of the country’s battle against COVID.
Some OEMs have also been donating much-needed supplies and other services to aid local hospitals in the fight against this deadly disease. Both Hero and Honda pitched in to help build temporary hospitals at the end of April, 2021. Suzuki Motorcycle India announced that it was donating ambulances to hospitals on May 10, 2021. Some had already been dispatched, and others are expected to reach their intended hospitals by mid-May.
As of May 11, 2021, India’s current surge still maintains an extremely strong grip on the country. The current seven-day average of new cases is at a record high of 390,995, according to Al Jazeera. On May 11, the Indian health ministry reported 366,161 new infections and 3,754 deaths that day alone. Virtually all news coverage about this says experts consider this an estimate, and believe it to be an undercount.
Sources: Nikkei Asia, Al Jazeera, Reuters