India's largest two-wheeler manufacturer Hero MotoCorp on Tuesday said it would shut its factories in a staggered manner for four days between April 22 and May 1 to protect the health and safety of its workers because of the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
Hero is the first automaker to announce a complete shutdown even though it is not mandated by any state government yet. Hero has factories in Haryana, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh.
"In keeping with its commitment to the safety and welfare of its people, Hero MotoCorp has decided to proactively halt operations temporarily at all of its manufacturing facilities across the country, including its Global Parts Centre (GPC), in view of the ongoing escalation in the spread of COVID-19 across the country," the firm said in a statement.
"Each plant and GPC will remain shut for four days, in a staggered manner between April 22 - May 1 basis the local scenario. All corporate offices of the company are already in Work from Home (WFH) mode and very limited colleagues are in offices on rotation basis for continuity of essential services."
It also said the shutdown will not impact sales as it would utilise the time for annual maintenance work. Any production loss would be compensated by higher productivity in the rest of the quarter.
"The Company will utilise these shut-down days to carry out necessary maintenance work in the manufacturing plants," the statement said.
"The shutdown will not impact the company's ability to meet the demand, which has been impacted due to localised shut-downs in many states and production loss will be compensated during the remainder of the quarter. All plants will resume normal operations post this short shutdown period."
In fiscal 2020-21, the company sold 55,99,859 units in the domestic market registering a 10.14 per cent decline over 2019-20. The overall two-wheeler industry posted a drop of 13.2 per cent at 1,51,19,387 units during the year.