This week in Auto: Lockdowns hurt demand, two-wheeler makers line up investments, companies rolls out COVID-19 relief packages and more

Maharashtra, Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Tamil Nadu and Goa are some of the states that have announced full lockdowns

Maharashtra, Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Tamil Nadu and Goa are some of the states that have announced full lockdowns

As automotive showrooms remain shut across the country following lockdown calls made by a number of states, auto companies stare at a poor Q1FY22. It will however be better than last year’s Q1 when there were zero sales for six weeks. Companies have still made announcements of new investments and launches for the year. Here’s a list of all the major developments in the automotive space this week.

Two-wheeler makers line up Rs 2,000 crore capex

TVS Motor Company, Hero MotoCorp and Bajaj Auto, who together control 70 percent of India’s two-wheeler market, will add new production lines and launch new models including battery-powered scooters in FY22, although the pandemic may prompt them to recalibrate their capital expenditure.

Bajaj Auto is going ahead with its planned new factory near Pune that will churn out KTM, Husqvarna and Triumph branded motorcycles. The total capex lined up by Bajaj Auto of Rs 800 crore for FY22 includes investment set aside for this new facility which is expected to begin production in 2023.

April auto sales dip 16%

Partial lockdown in several parts of the country hit sales of cars, SUVs, vans, bikes and scooters during April as showrooms remained shut while those open wore a deserted look.

As per data shared by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturer, passenger vehicles closed April with sales of 261,633 units which was a fall of 16 percent compared to the average monthly sales of three months of January to March when the industry saw 311,194 units

Bajaj Auto offers COVID-19 support to employees

Bajaj Auto announced that it will continue to pay salary for two years to the family of the employee who dies due COVID-19 as well as fund the education of the children of the deceased.

Company provided medical insurance will also get extended by five years for the dependents, the Pune-based auto major said in a statement

TVS offers support to employees

TVS Motor Company will pay up to three times the gross annual salary to the family of any employee who dies due COVID-19. The company will also fund the education of the employee’s children up to under-graduation.

The ex-gratia is in addition to the standard TVS Motor Company Family Welfare Fund and other statuary benefits applicable to deceased employees and their families.

Mahindra rolls out relief for dealers

Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) has rolled out a COVID-19 relief package for employees of all its dealers. The SUV specialist will pay Rs 2.5 lakh to the family of the deceased employee, provide medical insurance of Rs 1 lakh and pay for vaccination for both doses.

All permanent employees employed on dealer payrolls since January 1, 2021 will get the benefits, the Mumbai-based company stated in a letter sent to its dealers.

Hero Motocorp to resume ops

Two-wheeler market leader Hero MotoCorp on May 14 said it will resume partial operations at its three plants at Gurugram and Dharuhera in Haryana and Haridwar in Uttarakhand from May 17.

The company had halted operations temporarily at its six plants in India in a staggered manner for four days from April 22 to May 2, which was then extended till May 16.

Auto retail sales cripple in April

With at least a quarter of the country’s showrooms remaining shut due to the partial lockdown called by states, retail sales of all automobiles remained muted during April.

In the same month last year there was zero sales due to the strict national lockdown announced by the centre and therefore there is no year-on-year comparison for April 2021.