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Truckers' strike fallout — Auto cos face supply, production problems

Neha Kaushik

New Delhi , Aug. 25

THE ongoing truckers' strike has started to take a toll on the automobile industry.

Several automakers said on Wednesday that both production and dispatches of vehicles have been adversely impacted. They pointed out that the production might have to be suspended if the strike continues for another three to four days.

The strike has affected production at automotive major Mahindra and Mahindra's Nashik plant. The company said that if the supply of components gets choked completely, manufacturing would have to be stopped in the next three to four days.

"As we were given advance notice about the strike, we had piled up sufficient amount of components and production has been normal till now. The strike has started pinching us from today and if the supply of components gets affected totally, production may be shut in the next three to four days,'' Mahindra and Mahindra Chief Operating Officer, Mr Pawan Goenka, said.

As far as supply of vehicles to dealers was concerned, only the `Scorpio' may be affected due to its dependence on trucks for delivery.

Commercial vehicle and tractor manufacturer, Eicher Motors, said that though production has not been affected till now, the dispatches of its products had been. "The production would be affected if the strike were to continue for another four to five days. We had planned for a week's inventory. Dispatches of all vehicles, excepting tractors, have been affected," Mr R.C. Jain, Vice-Chairman, Eicher Group, said.

Hyundai Motor India, which has its plant in Tamil Nadu, also maintained that while production has not suffered yet, the dispatches of its cars have been affected.

"The dispatches of cars to the Western, North-Western, east and North-Eastern parts of the country have been impacted. Dispatches to the North are still going smoothly because we also use the railways to transport our vehicles," Mr B.V.R. Subbu, President, Hyundai Motor India, said.

Passenger carmaker Ford also pointed out that the company only has enough stockpile to last for a week. "If the strike continues for longer than this, our suppliers will find it difficult to provide components," Mr Vinay Piparsania, Vice-President (Marketing), Ford India, said.

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