In the wake of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Indian automotive industry is doing its bit for the country, which is battling challenges on several fronts. Vehicle and component manufacturers under the auspices of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) and Automotive Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA) have joined forces to support the government and citizens to fight the pandemic.
Auto makers shift gear to supply oxygen
As an immediate measure, many automotive manufacturers across the country recently halted production in their manufacturing units to ramp up the supply of oxygen for medical purposes.
In addition, India Auto Inc has already cumulatively donated more than 2,030 oxygen cylinders, 6.404 oxygen concentrators and also installed 27 oxygen generating plants have been installed in various locations.
With a unified approach, the industry has tied up with PSA (Pressure Swing Adsorption) plant manufacturers in order to scale up their capacities for producing oxygen by 20 times. These companies are mostly small-scale units with limited resources. Interventions by the domestic automotive industry included procurement of critical components, facilitating imports, providing skilled manpower and working capital which have helped de-bottleneck their operations, thereby boosting production of PSA oxygen generators.
The industry has also helped out in a number of other initiatives including setting up of state-of-the-art permanent hospitals and temporary medical care facilities, supplied 35 mobile units and created about 20 Covid Relief Camps to augment the healthcare infrastructure (see chart above). Furthermore, initiatives such as mobile clinics, tele-ICUs and tele-consultations have also helped to facilitate to Covid-19 care centers in rural areas across India.
Large scale sanitisation drives are also being taken up by SIAM and ACMA member companies in the nearby communities. Amidst this unprecedented crisis, such proactive steps taken by vehicle manufacturers and auto component makers have helped to save lives.
Commenting on the initiatives, Rajesh Menon, Director General, SIAM said, “The Indian auto industry stands strongly with the government in the country’s battle against Covid-19. The Government is leading from the front and we continue to support them in the best possible manner. The industry has come forward to augment supply of medical oxygen and provide other medical needs. It has also created safe working conditions for all its employees. We are committed to ensure that this pandemic does not leave long-lasting scars on our economy and people.”
Vinnie Mehta, Director General, ACMA, said: “The automotive industry is committed to supporting the society and the government in fighting the second wave of Covid-19. It is heartening that the industry has taken several measures across the country to support and strengthen the medical and healthcare infrastructure by donating medical equipment, oxygen concentrators and cylinders, hospitals beds, and setting up of hospitals and oxygen relief camps, amongst others. The auto components industry is committed to stand by the nation in its fight against the pandemic by securing both lives and livelihood.”