Ashok Leyland has suspended its commercial vehicle production for the time being, but will continue to deliver defence vehicles

Ashok Leyland is the latest Indian vehicle manufacturer to halt production amid a massive surge in Covid-19 cases across India.

Hinduja group flagship Ashok Leyland became the latest Indian automobile manufacturer to halt production at its facilities as the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic has begun to hit demand across the sector.

Ashok Leyland issued a statement on Monday saying that it has stopped production at its manufacturing plants due to dip in demand. In a regulatory filing, the vehicle manufacturer said it is keeping an eye on demand situation, while it tries to tackle disruptions in the supply situation.

"The demand outlook for all our products is expected to be affected temporarily. Accordingly, the operations of our plants have been scaled down and are expected to work for 7-15 days in May. We will continue to respond to the Covid situation in the country as it unfolds," the company said in its filing.

However, Ashok Leyland said it will continue to meet the requirement of defence vehicles. The company is the largest supplier of logistics vehicles to the Indian Army. It recently delivered the first batch of its light bulletproof vehicles to the Indian Air Force.

Ashok Leyland, the second largest commercial vehicle maker in the country, also said that it is committed to the wellbeing of its personnel and the extended ecosystem which includes customers, dealers and suppliers. "With health and safety first as the focus, our emergency response team, a high level task force responsible for managing Covid related protocols has revisited all the standard operating procedures and is ensuring the implementation of the same," it said.

Vaccination of employees and families is being monitored and enabled through vaccination camps across all facilities, it added.

With a surge in Covid-19 cases across the country, various auto companies have either taken a temporary break from production for a few days or have scaled down manufacturing in order to adjust inventory with a dip in demand. Carmakers like Toyota Kirloskar Motor, MG Motor and two-wheeler manufacturers like Hero MotoCorp and Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India have stopped production at their facilities, fully or partially, to ride out the crisis.