COVID-19: Apollo to suspend European, Indian tyre manufacturing operations – Updated

Following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Indian tyre manufacturer Apollo Tyres (Apollo) said it will stop production of passenger car tyres at its plant in Enschede, the Netherlands, to focus instead on production of specific high-performance passenger and agriculture tyre sizes as required by the European continent. Apollo’s plan calls for the phase-out of certain product lines – which will be carried out “under strict measures and in line with the local health advisory” – and the eventual elimination of nearly 750 jobs over the coming 24 months.

Apollo will also suspend all production at its Hungarian plant in late March 2020. The plant in Gyongyoshalasz will remain closed for at least two weeks. Apollo will reopen both plants “in due course” as it evaluates market conditions as well as the health and safety of its employees.

In other news, Apollo’s top executives said last week that they would take a reduction in pay due to the unexpected impact of the pandemic on the industry: Chairman Onkar S. Kanwar and Vice Chairman Neeraj Kanwar would take a 25% reduction in their salary, while the company’s senior management has taken a voluntary reduction in their salary by 15% in a show of solidarity.

Update on 3/26/2020:

Like many businesses on lockdown throughout India, Apollo Tyres (Apollo)will temporarily halt production at its plants in Kerala (Kalamassery and Perambra), Gujarat (Limda) and Tamil Nadu (Chennai) till March 31, 2020, and has instructed its numerous employees and staff to work from home, to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in the country. India, so far, has recorded over550 positive cases and 12 deaths due to the new coronavirus.

Apollo revealed that the expected financial impact of the mass shutdown is “not ascertainable at this stage” and will depend upon directives issued by the respective government authorities. Another tyre manufacturer, Ceat, has also suspended manufacturing operations at its plants till such regulatory advisories prevail; it has similarly implemented the work from home policy for all its offices to ensure health and safety of its employees and to contain the spread of new coronavirus.