The Indian auto industry has stepped up again to fight the much more lethal second COVID19 wave sweeping through the country. The industry had put its engineering and manufacturing expertise to use last year in manufacturing PPEs and ventilators last year but with those supplies in control now, managing the tragic shortages in oxygen and medical equipment have been the focus of initiatives.
The company had enforced an extended plant shut down across its facilities and diverted the small amount of oxygen it used during manufacturing towards medical use. Maruti has also tied up With two firms that manufacture oxygen generation plants in the NCR region to boost these firs’ outputs and help meet the heavy demand for these plants. It will work with local supply chain partners to ramp up outputs of oxygen generation plants by up to 10 times. Maruti Suzuki will also procure these oxygen generation plants from these firms and donate them.
Hyundai India has pledged Rs 20 crore towards fighting the disease through its philanthropic arm, Hyundai Motor India Foundation. Under this initiative, it will set up oxygen generation plants across hospitals in Maharashtra, Delhi, Haryana, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu to improve oxygen supply to patients. Also to be set up are Medicare facilities and other infrastructure to provide immediate relief to COVID-19 patients in collaboration with state governments and hospitals. There will also be support in terms of augmenting manpower and operational costs at hospitals dealing with the crisis.
Hyundai will also ensure uninterrupted delivery of medical oxygen equipment to New Delhi, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, and Telangana. The company will manage the entire process, from procurement to delivery, to ensure these supplies are put to use for patients as quickly as possible. Hyundai will help deliver 700 oxygen concentrators, 10 high flow oxygen plants, 200 high flow nasal oxygen (HFNO) machines, and 225 BiPap ventilator machines to government hospitals in these states.
The company has set up an ‘Oxygen on Wheels’ service across major Indian cities through its Mahindra Logistics arm. The initiative connects oxygen producers with the hospital/care center and Mahindra Bolero pick-ups are then deployed to deliver this oxygen.
The process is controlled by a central command center and a full supply chain is being created. The company is also working on expanding this facility to include direct delivery to consumer’s homes.
Skoda Auto has announced it will donate EUR 1 million or over Rs 8.9 crore on behalf of the Volkswagen Group to help fight the surging second wave of COVID19 in India. This aid will be disbursed both in kind as well as through financial donations. Skoda will support the tackling of this crisis by providing medical supplies and through a monetary donation to the German Red Cross. The firm will procure medical equipment such as oxygen generators and liquid oxygen tanks. Skoda’s purchasing and logistics departments are working tirelessly to acquire the relief supplies at short notice and deliver them to the worst affected regions as quickly as possible, in spite of the logistical challenges wrought by the pandemic. The Indian Red Cross is expected to handle the distribution locally.
MG Motor India
MG has tied up with Devananda Gases, one of Vadodara’s largest medical oxygen manufacturers, to improve medical oxygen outputs. More efficient processes have increased the production of oxygen by 15 percent an hour and MG aims to increase this by a further 50 percent soon.
Through its CSR arm MG SEWA, the carmaker is providing lunch to families of patients at GMERS hospital while oxygen concentrators for the affected family members of MG Motor India’s employees are also being imported. MG is also donating 200 beds for COVID19 patients via the Credihealth online healthcare platform. These biodegradable and waterproof beds are being sourced from Gujarat-based Aryan Paper Mills. Finally, it is also looking at the feasibility of introducing MG Hector mobile testing units.
With all OEMs stepping up their effort to fight covid, the auto industry has tried its bit to help speed the recovery and minimize the damage. These initiatives not only help the people and the economy to recover faster, but at the same time, it also helps build a stronger connection with the mass public at large.