Auto stocks slumped as some of the country’s top automakers took the lead in suspending production to safeguard its employees as Covid-19 continues to spread despite lockdowns. At 09:40 am, the Nifty Auto index was trading 9.6 per cent lower at 4,853.45 levels with all the 15 constituents trading in the red. Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) was the top loser with 11.58 per cent cut at Rs 285, followed by Hero MotoCorp (11 per cent), Maruti (11 per cent), and TVS Motor Co (down 10 per cent).
In comparison, the Nifty50 index was trading 9 per cent lower at 7,959.50 levels.
Maruti Suzuki India (MSI), the country’s largest carmaker, said it was suspending production at its facilities in Haryana “till further notice”. The company’s research and development centre at Rohtak would also remain closed, it said. “As a next step, the government policy now requires closure of production and, accordingly, the company has taken a decision on production closure,” the firm said.
Two-wheeler maker Hero MotoCorp also said it has suspended production at all its sites across the globe until March 31 in order to safeguard its employees against the novel coronavirus outbreak.
Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), too, said it had suspended manufacturing at its Nagpur plant and would halt production at Chakan (Pune) and Kandivali (Mumbai) from Monday. Anand Mahindra, group company chairman, said on Twitter the company would immediately begin work on how it can make ventilators at its plants. READ MORE
The ultimate impact of coronavirus is still getting monitored by the Indian automakers, as in the case with all the sectors, forecasts are being jettisoned. "We have received the information that two of our members in Pune have been asked by the local police to shut their dealerships." Ashish Kale, president, Federation Of Automobile Dealers Associations (Fada).