With the Coronavirus crisis growing by the day, important items such as ventilators, gloves, face masks, and testing kits have become vital necessities that every country in the world is rushing to procure. In India, the government has been working at full speed to manufacture and procure these items so that more people can be tested and the medical and frontline staff can be adequately equipped to handle the Coronavirus epidemic.
To help the Indian government in this endeavour, automotive manufacturers in India are assisting the government actively. A few days ago Mahindra & Mahindra had announced that they were at the prototype stage of producing ventilators, which they would then manufacture and supply. Today, Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai India have also announced their efforts towards helping the government procure these necessary items.
Hyundai India, for instance, has ordered 25,000 units of COVID-19 advanced diagnostics testing kits from South Korea. An initiative under its global 'Progress for Humanity' commitment, these kits are highly advanced and offer a very high level of accuracy. Once the shipment is received, these kits will be distributed to Central and Regional hospitals in consultation with the Indian government authorities.
Maruti Suzuki, on the other hand, has started actively working with its suppliers to start or accelerate the manufacturing of safety equipment such as ventilators, face masks, and protective clothing locally. In the case of ventilators, Maruti Suzuki has signed an agreement with AgVa Healthcare, an approved manufacturer of ventilators, to increase its manufacturing capacity rapidly. The ultimate goal is to achieve a volume of 10,000 Ventilators per month. Under the agreement, Maruti Suzuki will use its suppliers to produce a higher number of components required and use its experience to upgrade systems for faster production and better quality control of much higher volumes. Maruti Suzuki will also help to finance and obtain all permissions and approvals required to increase the production.
Alongside, Maruti Suzuki is also working with its supplier, Krishna Maruti Limited, to manufacture 3-ply masks for Haryana and the Central government. The production is expected to start as soon as the required approvals are received by the company. Additionally, another supplier of Maruti Suzuki, Bharat Seats, will manufacture protective clothing once the required approvals are in place.
With their expertise in mass production and fast distribution of products, this timely help by the automotive sector is a much-needed boost in supplying essential equipment to the Indian government.