ŠKODA AUTO Volkswagen India Private Limited (ŠAVWIPL) has resumed production at its Aurangabad plant after the coronavirus-related production stop. At the Pune plant, the manufacturer is continuing preparations for the start of vehicle assembly under the INDIA 2.0 project. The state government of Maharashtra and the local authorities have approved the restart, and both plants have implemented comprehensive safety measures. To ensure the best possible protection of employees’ health, a safety protocol with 60 specific measures is in place at both sites. The company prepared the ‘Start Safe’ protocol in close consultation with health care professionals.
Mr Gurpratap Boparai, Managing Director, ŠKODA AUTO Volkswagen India Private Limited, said, “The post-COVID-19 era will have challenges new and old; however, we need to look ahead with optimism once more. By resuming production, we will be in a better position to react to market demands and consumer needs. Over the past few weeks, we have been working closely with the Government, local administration and our medical team to develop a ‘Safe Production and Safe Office concept’ and implemented the same in our operations.”
Production at the Aurangabad plant will initially restart in single-shift operation. The new ŠKODA SUPERB, which makes its debut on the Indian market this week, will be rolling off its production line. At the same time, production of other model ranges, as well as other Group brands’ vehicles, will gradually resume. As the situation in the supply chain eases and personnel availability continues to improve, production is being progressively ramped up to full capacity.
ŠKODA AUTO Volkswagen India Private Limited is also further intensifying preparations for the INDIA 2.0 project. Sites are being modernised, new facilities are being built, and further steps are being taken towards the start of production of the SUV family based on the MQB platform A0 IN. This version of the modular transverse matrix is specially tailored to the Indian market. It serves as the technological basis for future models of ŠKODA and Volkswagen. With the ŠKODA VISION IN and the Volkswagen Taigun, the first concept studies of future series vehicles were exhibited at the Delhi Auto EXPO in February 2020.
In addition to the comprehensive package of measures to protect its employees’ health, ŠKODA AUTO Volkswagen India Private Limited is also involved in the fight against the pandemic outside the company. For example, the manufacturer is supporting the establishment of a specialised COVID-19 treatment centre with 1,100 beds at Sassoon General Hospital in Pune by donating 10,000,000 Indian rupees (approx. 120,000 euros). In addition, ŠKODA AUTO Volkswagen India Private Limited has donated urgently needed medicines worth 27,000 euros.
In the meantime, 12,000 reusable face shields have already been produced and distributed to medical personnel in Aurangabad, Beed, Latur and Pune. The company’s engineers also developed intubation boxes, oxygen masks with filters as well as automatic AMBU resuscitation bags for Indian healthcare facilities. Also, ŠKODA AUTO Volkswagen India Private Limited has donated more than 35,000 packs of disinfectant to hospitals nationwide and expanded its cooperation with the Annamitra Foundation, which among other things is distributing 50,000 food packages to those most in need in and around Aurangabad.
In an initiative supported by the union, employees in Pune and Aurangabad have donated their daily wages. The amount raised will be used to purchase 15 ventilators, 15 monitors and 3,750 personal protective equipment kits for employees at the COVID-19 stations of the hospitals in Mumbai, Pune and Aurangabad.
ŠKODA AUTO a.s. and ProfiBusiness.world
January 28, 2021