Hero MotoCorp, Fiat halt Indian production until March 31 due to Covid-19

India's biggest bike maker Hero MotoCorp Ltd said on Sunday it will halt operations at all its manufacturing facilities until March 31 to protect its employees from the fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak. Hero has plants in India, Bangladesh and Colombia and accounts for more than 35 per cent of the two-wheeler market in India.

US carmaker Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) also said on Sunday it will halt production at its plant in the western Indian state of Maharashtra till March 31.

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At least 324 people have so far been found to have contracted the disease in India while four deaths were reported, according to official data as of 0600 GMT.

Maharashtra, which has recorded the highest number of confirmed cases in India, on Friday closed all shops and offices except those providing essential services in India's financial capital Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur until March 31. Our top priority is the health and well-being of our employees. With #COVID-19 situation escalating, we are halting operations at all our manufacturing plants globally. Employees at our corporate offices will continue to work from home.#StaySafe #StayHealthy pic.twitter.com/yEkhGiBfz3 — Hero MotoCorp (@HeroMotoCorp) March 21, 2020

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Indian carmaker Tata Motors Ltd said on Friday it was rapidly scaling down activity at its car factory in Maharashtra and is preparing to close it if concerns about coronavirus deepen. FCA on Sunday said all employees at its plant near Pune will continue to be paid during the closure.

FCA, along with Ford Motor Co and General Motors Co last week decided to shut plants in the United States, Canada and Mexico, bowing to pressure from the union representing about 150,000 workers at those facilities.