In a statement issued Wednesday, India’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki announced it would shut down all of its manufacturing facilities starting 1 May, as it looks to divert oxygen supplied to its plants for medical purposes. Along with the two Maruti Suzuki facilities, located in Gurugram and Manesar, Haryana, parent company Suzuki’s factory in Gujarat will also down its shutters from 1 May to 9 May, and all the oxygen being supplied to these plants can instead be redirected to regions that need them most at this time as COVID-19 cases continue to rise every day.
The statement mentions that as part of the manufacturing process for vehicles, a small amount of oxygen is made available at the manufacturing facilities. In contrast, those manufacturing components for vehicles consume larger amounts of oxygen.
Bearing in mind the precarious situation India finds itself in with recurring shortages of oxygen in several states, Maruti Suzuki has decided to bring forward its bi-annual plant maintenance – originally slated for June – and carry it out during the full plant shutdown, when no new vehicles will be produced.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit India in 2020, Maruti Suzuki had closed its manufacturing facilities starting 22 March and only reopened them in May.
At its Gurugram plant, Maruti Suzuki has a total production capacity of seven lakh units per annum, and popular models such as the Wagon R, Ertiga, and the Vitara Brezza are made there.
With an annual production capacity of 8.8 lakh units, the facility in Manesar, Haryana, is bigger and produces models such as the Alto, Dzire, Swift, Ciaz, and Celerio.
The Suzuki plant in Gujarat has an annual production capacity of 7.5 lakh units and rolls out the Baleno, Toyota Glanza, and now the Dzire.
Combined, all three plants give Maruti Suzuki a total annual production capacity of 22.5 lakh vehicles.