Royal Enfield on Wednesday announced a temporary halt in its production operations at its Chennai facility owing to the Covid-19 pandemic and the rising number of cases across the country. Underlining the need to keep safety of employees at the facility as paramount, Royal Enfield stressed that it does not see much of an impact on ability to cater to demand because most retail outlets across states and Union Territories are anyway shut owing to different local rules related to curfews and restrictions.
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Royal Enfield has stated that its facility in Chennai will remain shut between May 13 and May 16 and that in this time, maintenance activity will be carried out at the manufacturing plants. "Royal Enfield continues to monitor the situation closely and will take appropriate actions as the situation progresses; and in line with the directives being issued by the government and administrative authorities," a press statement informed. "In light of the unprecedented situation owing to the spread of Covid-19, and with an objective to prioritize safety and well-being of its personnel, Royal Enfield has decided to temporarily halt production operations at its manufacturing facilities in Chennai, India."
Demand for passenger vehicles and two-wheelers has been on a downward spiral with April seeing a noticeable dip in wholesales when compared to figures from a month earlier, as per SIAM data. Royal Enfield is now just one of many OEMs to have suspended production work and instead, chosen to carry out annual maintenance works.
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With the second wave of Covid-19 in India now beginning to significantly impact southern states like Karnataka, Telangana as well as Tamil Nadu - while still being a menacing threat everywhere else - is a cause of worry on multiple fronts. Automotive experts do not see any glimmer of hope on the horizon, also because warning bells of a third wave have already been sounded even as the country struggles to turn the curve of infections in the second wave.