HMSI's Karnataka plant to restart operations on May 25, 3 other plants by early June

by Autocar Pro News Desk , 22 May 2020

File photo of HMSI's plant in Kolar, Karnataka. At 2.4 million units per annum, it is the largest of the OEM's 4 plants in India.

With state governments across the country gradually giving clearance to companies to recommence manufacturing operations, OEMs and suppliers are beginning to re-open shuttered plants with due safety diligence.

Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) has announced that its production operations will resume at all its 4 plants in two phases. The two-wheeler OEM has a total manufacturing capacity of 6.4 million units as under:

Plant 1: Manesar (Haryana) - 1.6 million units
Plant 2: Tapukara (Rajasthan) - 1.2 million units
Plant 3: Kolar (Karnataka) - 2.4 million units
Plant 4: Vithalapur (Gujarat) - 1.2 million units

Now, Honda has confirmed that production will resume in a phased manner starting May 25 from its biggest plant in Narsapura in Karnataka followed by the other three plants from the first week of June. The company adds that its "suppliers are now in advanced stages of resuming production" and that "nearly 99% of Honda’s 300+ supplier plants too have received the necessary approvals to resume their operations." 

Meanwhile, on the retail front, over 60 percent of Honda dealers have by now resumed their sales and service operations. Initial enquiries, though still subdued compared to the pre-lockdown period, are picking up momentum every day. Hence, strategically aligning supply chain with market demand and available BS-6 inventory across its network, Honda will resume production from its 4 factories in a staggered manner from May 25.

Sharp focus on safety
Like a number of other Indian OEMs, HMSI has also issued a comprehensive Operations Resumption manual in addition to the applicable Central and State Government guidelines. This is applicable not only to Honda’s manufacturing plants but the entire ecosystem including its suppliers, logistic partners, dealerships and service centers across India.

The guidelines for all Honda plants extensively mandate safety precautions (like temperature screening, non-biometric entry and exit, mandatory face masks, regular sanitisation and disinfection of common surfaces and vehicles carrying materials, work from home, ample availability of hand wash / sanitiser, usage and disposal of PPEs), training and awareness modules on COVID-19, transport guidelines, COVID-19 health insurance cover (for all Honda permanent and contractual employees), strict social distancing measures across Honda offices (markings on production line, partitions to maintain social distancing) and revised SOP for quality checks.