The coronavirus pandemic has thrown up a challenge that is not easy to deal with. From ensuring proper healthcare to those affected by the disease to keeping the medical staff safe, the authorities have a huge challenge on their hands. There is also a need to help those in need of essentials like food but cannot go out of their homes to earn money. The Indian automobile industry has risen to the challenge in multiple ways to help the country in these difficult times. From making huge contributions to the Union and State governments to manufacturing relevant medical equipment, everything is being done. Taking care of those in need with respect to food is also on the agenda for many. Let’s take a look at what some of India’s biggest automakers are doing to fight the Covid-19 crisis.
The parent company Tata Motors, Tata Sons has already made a Rs 1,000 crore pledge that includes everything from making medical equipment to educating the masses about social distancing. Tata Motors itself is taking a multi pronged approached to deal with the crisis. Under its Corporate Social Responsibility arm, the company is focusing on three critical areas which includes provision of essential supplies, providing medical practitioners with necessary equipment and educating the masses on how to contain and prevent the disease. The company has organised for food supplies to migrants and stranded communities, urban slums, transit camps and villagers, drivers, co-drivers, mechanics, contractual and temporary workers and security personnel across geographies in the country. N95 masks, sanitizers and personal protective equipment kits are also being distributed to municipal hospitals by the company.
Mahindra & Mahindra
The teams at Igatpuri and Mumbai plants of Mahindra responded to the call made by group chairman Anand Mahindra by coming up with the first ventilator prototype within 48 hours. Since then the final product has been made and has been sent for approvals. Importantly, these life-saving devices which otherwise cost between Rs 5 lakh and Rs 10 lakh will cost just below Rs 7,500. The automaker has also been assembling face shields in its facilities with design help coming from its partner Ford. Mahindra is also helping others in making face masks and along with a Mumbai-based start-up is ramping up production to eventually make up to 10,000 3-ply masks per day. That’s not all, the company has opened its kitchen at 10 locations and began by supplying 50,000 meals and 10,000 rations per week.
India’s largest carmaker has taken to producing of ventilators, masks and other protective equipment. In an arrangement with its healthcare partner AgVa, the company intends to make 10,000 ventilators per month. AgVa Healthcare is responsible for the technology, performance and related matters regarding the production. Maruti would use its suppliers to produce the required volume of components and use its experience and knowledge to upgrade systems for the production and quality control of the higher volumes. The company is also making 3-ply masks while taking care of food requirements of communities living in the villages near their facilities in Gurugram and Manesar in Haryana.
The Korean car company through its CSR branch, Hyundai Motor India Foundation, announced that it is bringing the COVID-19 test kits from South Korea so that testing can be ramped up in India. These special kits have been claimed to be quite accurate and Hyundai says that this step will help in testing more than 25,000 people. After receiving the shipments, the company will distribute these kits in the hospitals of the affected areas in consultation with the Union and State governments. In Chennai where its plant is located, Hyundai has joined hands with a local manufacturer to enhance the production of ventilators to meet growing demand in Tamil Nadu and other states. A prototype developed in-house has already been submitted to the government of Tamil Nadu for consideration
In a significant contribution towards efforts in taking on the Coronavirus pandemic, various companies of the Hero group, including Hero Motocorp, have pledged Rs 100 crore towards relief. Half of this sum, Rs 50 crore, will be contributed to the recently created PM-Cares Fund and the remaining Rs 50 crore will be spent in other relief efforts. This will include deploying modified motorcycles as two-wheeler ambulances in rural areas, distributing masks, sanitizers, gloves and 100 Ventilators apart from distributing 10,000 meals on a daily basis.
Help continues to pour in from other automakers as well. Owing to the nationwide lockdown all manufacturing activities in their plants are closed and these companies are doing all that they can to help the governments, patients, medical professionals and citizens in these testing times.