This week in Auto: Mahindra rolls out product plans, Auto companies fight Coronavirus, worker unrest and more


Here is a complete list of all the important developments of the week in the auto space

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The auto industry may not have begun FY22 on a robust note with state-mandated lockdown announced by most states which resulted in locked showrooms. But auto companies are gearing up for a strong rebound in demand after reopening of the economy post June. More on this later in the copy but here is a complete list of all the important developments of the week in the auto space.

Mahindra goes full throttle on products

SUV specialist Mahindra & Mahindra will launch 23 new products across passenger and commercial vehicle segments in addition to 37 tractor models by 2026.

The Mumbai-based company has lined up capital expenditure (capex) of Rs 12,000 crore for new product launch, upgrades of existing models and new variant over the next five years.

Bajaj Auto speeds up product development

Bajaj Auto is stepping up product development to make up for the delay in FY21 and has lined up multiple launches for the year, including motorcycles sporting new platforms.

The Pune-based company has done three launches, so far, in the year and aims to deliver new models over the next six months, a top company official has told said to analysts.

How auto companies have worked against COVID-19

Automotive companies have cumulatively donated more than 2,030 oxygen cylinders and 4,404 oxygen concentrators, set up permanent and temporary hospitals with a capacity of more than 4,475 beds in the collective fight against COVID-19.

In addition, 27 oxygen generating plants, more than 132 ventilators, 349 BiPAP machines and 250 HFNCs (High-Flow Nasal Cannulas), 20 COVID-19 relief camps and 35 mobile units have been offered by the automotive industry, a statement from the lobby bodies of vehicle makers (SIAM) and parts suppliers (ACMA) said.

Kia launches scheme for Carnival

Kia India has rolled out the ‘Satisfaction Guarantee Scheme’ offer on its MUV, Carnival which allows buyers to return the vehicle within first 30 days of purchase and a reimbursement of 95 percent of the cost. This is first-of-a-kind scheme by an automaker in India.

“Private owners of the Carnival can return the vehicle if they are not pleased with the car within the first 30 days of its purchase. It will cover 95 percent of the ex-showroom cost and overhead cost incurred for the registration and finance

Mercedes-Benz launches two SUVs

German luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz on Tuesday launched two SUVs – the all-new GLA and AMG GLA 35 4M in India with introductory prices starting at Rs 42.10 lakh after being delayed by the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both these SUVs will be available in dealerships across India where business is operational, besides being available at the company’s web store for those customers who prefer an online purchase, Mercedes-Benz India said in a statement.

Hyundai, Renault struggle against worker unrest

Hyundai Motor India temporarily suspended plant operations in Tamil Nadu for five days, from May 25 to May 29, amid the prevailing COVID-19 situation in the country.

Workers at Renault-Nissan’s manufacturing unit in Tamil Nadu also went on strike on May 26 as their COVID-related safety demands were not been met, a workers’ union told the automobile company in a letter on May 24.

US auto brand Ford and niche bike maker Royal Enfield also got sucked into the imbroglio. Both companies announced shut down of their factories. Almost all companies are set to reopen in the first week of June.

Yamaha, Apollo Tyres, Ceat, JK Tyre are some of the companies who have plants in Chennai and watching the developments closely. The companies are operating with reduced workforce which is impacting output.

Daimler India Commercial Vehicles, Ashok Leyland and TVS Motor Company are the companies who chose to keep their plants open but after adhering to all state-mandated rules and regulations formed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the north of the country Maruti Suzuki and Hero MotoCorp and to the west like Mahindra & Mahindra and Tata Motors opted to close its factories without any such pressure from their workers.

Most companies are expecting normal operations to begin in the next 2-3 weeks largely because of accelerated employee vaccination done by companies. By early July production is expected to normalise to December and January level say senior officials of automakers.