Economic slowdown: Auto companies in India cut more jobs, halt production

Agencies
August 23, 2019

New Delhi, Aug 23: With India’s auto sales declining for the ninth straight month in July, more automotive manufacturers are laying off workers and temporarily halting production to keep costs in check, according to sources and documents seen by Reuters.

Japanese carmaker Toyota Motor and South Korea’s Hyundai Motor are the latest in a string of companies to halt production at plants to combat slumping sales, according to company memos to employees, reviewed by Reuters.

Passenger vehicle sales in July fell at the fastest pace in nearly two decades. The sales declines have triggered major job cuts in India’s auto sector, with many companies forced to shut down factories for days and axe shifts.

Sources have told Reuters that even more companies have now begun to lay off temporary workers as the slowdown worsens.

Denso Corp’s India unit, which makes powertrain and air-conditioning systems for cars, has laid off about 350 temporary workers at its Manesar plant in north India, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Bellsonica, which is part-owned by India’s biggest carmaker Maruti Suzuki and makes fuel tanks and brake pads, has also let more than 350 workers go in Manesar, two sources said.

Denso did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Bellsonica could not immediately be reached.

Reuters earlier this month reported automakers, component manufacturers and dealers had already cut 350,000 jobs.

In a meeting with India’s finance ministry on Aug. 7, industry executives asked for tax cuts, and easier access to finance for dealers and buyers, in an effort to revive sales.

Toyota, in a notice dated August 13, told its workers the company would halt production at its plants in Bengaluru in southern India on August 16 and 17 “due to low market demand of vehicles” and high stock of about 7,000 vehicles.

N Raja, deputy managing director, at Toyota’s India unit, told Reuters that while the company had a flexible production system it had to resort to five no-production days in August to prevent the build up of stock.

“The industry is deeply concerned with the reality of poor customer sentiment faced by the sector,” said Raja, adding he hoped the government would step in to support the industry.

Hyundai, in a memo on August 9, also said it would halt production for several days in August across various departments including the body shop and paint shop as well as its engine and transmission plants.

A Hyundai Motor India spokesman said the company expected sales to pick up in the festive season starting next month.

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News Network
September 18,2020
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Yediyurappa

Bengaluru, Sept 18: Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa on Friday brushed aside speculation of Janata Dal (Secular) joining the state government or extending any support.

The chief minister, who is in the national capital on a three-day tour, dismissed such reports that emerged after JD(S) leader and former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy recently met him to discuss "development-related works".

"It is all speculation, there is no truth in it. As one of the leaders of the Opposition party, Kumaraswamy had recently met me to discuss development-related works. There was no political issue discussed in that meeting," Yediyurappa told reporters here when asked about the reports.

He said his party BJP has a comfortable majority in Karnataka and does not require any support from JD(S).

Yediyurappa also refuted the Opposition's charge that his son and BJP state vice-president B Y Vijayendra was acting like a "super CM". He said Vijayendra was focusing on the party works and not interfering in the functioning of the government.

"Some of the opposition leaders are making baseless allegations out of jealousy looking at his political growth," Yediyurappa said.

He said he would discuss the expansion of the Cabinet with party president J P Nadda later during the day. Yediyurappa also held a discussion with BJP National General Secretary B L Santosh.

Earlier during the day, the chief minister called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several Union Ministers to discuss development works related to the state, according to an official statement.

Yediyurappa called on Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar at the Parliament House and requested for early grant of the 'Terms of Reference' for the Mekedatu project and first stage forest clearances for the Kalasa and Banduri Nala projects in the state.

He later met Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and urged the government to declare Upper Krishna Project Stage-III and Upper Bhadra Project as National Projects, the statement said.

The chief minister also requested for early approvals and clearances for irrigation and drinking water projects including Mekedatu and Kalasa Banduri Nala to utilise the water resources allocated to the state.

He also called on Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and requested him to expedite the process of disinvestment of the Visvesvaraya Iron and Steel Limited, it said.

On September 17, Yediyurappa had met Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as well as Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

With the speculation that the chief minister may undergo cabinet expansion, several leaders from the state including former ministers H Vishwanath and MP Renukacharya have come to the national capital.

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News Network
September 20,2020

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Thiruvananthapuram, Sept 20: Heavy rains continued to lash Kerala with eight districts put under red alert on Sunday and the IMD sounding Orange alert in ten districts for Monday.

The weatherman said that a low-pressure area had formed over North East Bay of Bengal and Neighbourhood on Sunday morning.

"A low-pressure area has formed over Northeast Bay of Bengal and neighbourhood today morning. It is likely to move west-northwest during the next 2-3 days and become more marked over Northwest Bay of Bengal and neighbourhood during next 24 hours," a weather bulletin issued at 3 pm said.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a red alert in Idukki, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasaragod districts onSunday.

Meanwhile, the IMD has issued Orange alert on Monday for the districts of Kottayam, Ernakulam, Idukki, Thrissur, Palakkad, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Wayanad, Kannur and Kasaragod.

A red alert is sounded for rainfall of over 20 cm while an orange alert is for 6 cm to 20 cm of rain.

As Muvattupuzha river is reaching flood level, banks of the river in Ernakulam and Kottayam districts are expected to be flooded,Ernakulam district officials said.

Authorities have directed the panchayats and municipalities through which the river flows to issue necessary warnings.

Heavy rains lashed many parts of Ernakulam.

Also, heavy winds were reported in Edathala near Aluva this morning, uprooting several trees, damaging four houses and disrupting power supply.

No one was injured in the localised weather event which occurred in Edathala panchayat, police said.

The State Disaster Management Authority has banned fishing for the next 48 hours startingfrom Sunday morning.

Three units of the National Disaster Response Force have reached Kerala and have been deployed in Wayanad, Malappuram and Thrissur districts.

Already there are two teams in Idukki and Kozhikode districts.

While Vadakara in Kozhikode district received 21 cm rain in the last 24 hours, Thaliparambu in Kannur received 17 cm, Munnar received 14 cm, Irikkur in Kannur and Kudulu in Kasaragod received 13 cm of rain.

Fishermen have been warned not to put out to sea as strong winds with speed reaching 45-55 kmph are likely to prevail along and off Kerala, Karnataka coasts and over Lakshadweep area.

A landslide triggered by heavy rains in the hilly district of Idukki on August 7 had flattened a row of dwelling units of tea estate workers at Pettimudi in Rajamalai claiming 66 lives.

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News Network
September 13,2020

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Mangaluru, Sept 13: A youth died on spot after speeding lorry knocked down his two-wheeler near Padangady village in Belthangady taluk of Dakshina Kannada.

The deceased has been identified as Girish Moolya (22), a resident of Gardadi village in Belthangady.

According to sources, the boy was thrown on to the road and run over by the lorry after the collision.

A case has been registered at jurisdictional Venur police station and investigations are on.

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