Tata Motors to shut down Jamshedpur plant for five days amid Covid-19 surge
Indian vehicle manufacturer Tata Motors has decided to shut down its manufacturing facility in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand for five days, starting today. The vehicle manufacturer issued a statement saying that it will undertake a block closure at the facility from May 18 to May 22.
"It has been decided to effect Block Closure in Jamshedpur plant from Tuesday May 18, 2021 to Saturday, May 22, 2021," an internal communication was quoted by news agency PTI. Tata Motors is scheduled to hold its board meeting today to approve audited financial results for the quarter and the previous financial year.
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The shutdown comes at a time when the state is witnessing a lockdown due to the rise in Covid-19 cases across the state. RK Singh, general secretary of the Tata Motors Workers' Union at the facility was quoted by PTI saying that the production of commercial vehicles has been scaled down due to Covid-19 pandemic. As the state has suspended bus operations till May 27, around 50 per cent of the Tata Motors workforce, are facing difficulty in reaching the facility.
However, Tata Motors sources at the Jamshedpur plant has termed the closure as regular maintenance. A spokesperson was quoted by PTI saying, "Tata Motors Jamshedpur plant will observe block closure from May 18 to May 22. This is to conduct our annual maintenance activities and also support the ongoing statewide lockdown being observed to break the chain of the prevailing pandemic."
The Jamshedpur manufacturing facility is used by Tata Motors to primarily produce its heavy commercial vehicles like trucks and buses.
The 35-billion-dollar worth Tata Motors Group, is one of the leading automobile manufacturing company globally. It also owns Jaguar Land Rover, which was previously under the Ford Motor Company.
Tata Motors' board meeting today will consider financial results and a proposal for raising funds. "The board in the said meeting would also consider a proposal for raising funds by way of issue of one or more instruments including convertible securities of any description or debt securities, through preferential issue, private placements, rights issue or any other methods or combination thereof in the domestic and/or international markets," Tata Motors had said in a regulatory filing a few days ago.
The board meeting comes at a time when the auto industry is fearing a slump in vehicle demands. Last year too, lockdown across the country saw demands fall massively as April, 2020 drew a blank for all carmakers with zero sales. This time though, Tata Motors says it is more careful and has taken steps to ensure that the interests of its customers, dealers and suppliers are not hurt due to the lockdown enforced in many parts of the country.