Hyundai to start export of cars soon

In a confidence-building act for post-lockdown manufacturing, the country’s second-largest carmaker Hyundai Motor India has asked shipping lines to get ready for a dispatch of 7,500 cars to the Middle East over the next few days.

Hyundai reopened its factory on May 6 after lockdown restrictions were eased and started production on May 8.

“We are now working two shifts. We have a sanctioned strength of 7,500 people within the factory and we have attained that strength. Manufacturing process has been very encouraging and we have called out our logistics persons to get ready for the first exports of 7,500 cars,” said B C Datta, VP, Hyundai. On the list are SUVs Creta and Venue, and compact cars including i20 and Grand i10. “All these vehicles were made post-lockdown.”

“It was challenging. We had to take special approvals from the government to ply buses to southern Tamil Nadu to bring back employees who had left when the lockdown was announced. We brought back our vendors’ employees too. We used the lockdown period to get the social distancing on the lines. We will now wait to get sanctions for starting our third shift from the government,” said Ganesh Mani, director of manufacturing at Hyundai. In the initial days, the company made around 500 cars and the output has been ramped up over the past few days, he said. “We are waiting for demand revival in the domestic market.”

Hyundai is India’s largest passenger car exporter and had set an export target of two lakh units for 2020 before the Covid-19 pandemic, which has forced companies to alter production and sales schedules.