Maruti Suzuki India has announced that it has advanced its annual maintenance shut down from June to May 2021. This coincides with the Government of India’s call to OEMs to free up industrial oxygen consumption, which could instead be used for medical purpose. The carmaker will shut both its Gurugram and Manesar plants, in Haryana, from May 1 to May 9, 2021. In fact, the company has also said that Suzuki Motor Gujarat, the wholly-owned plant of Maruti’s parent company Suzuki Motor Corporation has also taken the same decision for its factory.
According to a government circular, dated April 25, 2021, under the Disaster Management Act 2005, all industrial use of oxygen was to be restricted, to ensure the availability of “adequate and uninterrupted” supply of medical oxygen for COVID-19 patients. Presently, all manufacturers must comply with this order, and many who are continuing operations are using alternate gases to keep production going.
The circular issued by Union Home Secretary, Ajay Bhalla, also states – “The central government has reviewed the oxygen supply situation and has decided that with immediate effect, use of liquid oxygen, including existing stock, will be allowed for medical purpose only, and that all manufacturing units may be allowed to maximise their production of oxygen, and make it available to the Government, for use for medical purposes only.”
In the official statement released by the company, Maruti Suzuki India said, “In the current situation, we believe that all available oxygen should be used to save lives. Accordingly, Maruti Suzuki has decided to advance its maintenance shutdown, originally scheduled for June, to 1st to 9th May. Production in all factories will close for maintenance during this period.”
In its statement, the company also added that it only uses a small amount of oxygen as part of the car manufacturing process in its factories. It even pointed out that relatively much larger quantities of oxygen are used by the manufacturers of components. During the nine days of shutdown the company will carry out the necessary maintenance work at its manufacturing facilities.