Indian electronics makers stop production as COVID spreads and sales fall

electronics production stops India
Factory shutdown. Image by DifferR | Bigstockphoto

Smartphone and electronics makers in India have cut down production significantly with sales falling to near zero due to rapid spread of COVID-19 in India, which has led to local lockdowns across the country.

Electronics and smartphones are considered non-essential goods thereby sales through online channels, or e-commerce platforms are not currently allowed. 

According to a report by the Economic Times, various companies have also been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak in their factories, which has also led to production shutdowns. 

Handset brands like Oppo, Vivo have completely shut down their factories while Xiaomi, Samsung and Apple partners have scaled-down production in the last few weeks. The report said that Apple partners and Samsung are running their factories at only 25-40% capacity to address global demand. 

Consumer durable companies like LG, Panasonic, Carrier Midea, Haier and Godrej Appliances have “either completely shut down all their plants or cut production significantly”, as per the report.

Domestic contract manufacturer Dixon has also shut down its lighting production. The company’s appliances and TV are running at 30-50% capacity.

The report said that Samsung is running its factories only three days a week to address global demand. The company makes handsets, TVs and consumer durables like refrigerators, washing machines and air conditioners through various factories in India.

Indian Cellular and Electronics Association (ICEA), which represents Apple, Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo, Foxconn, and Wistron, has reached out to the telecom and IT minister, Ravi Shankar Prasad seeking vaccination for all industrial workers.

ICEA chairman Pankaj Mohindroo said the agency had requested vaccination for the workforce on a “war footing”. He confirmed that capacities had been scaled down by most of the companies.

Notably, India is currently facing an acute shortage of vaccines. Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech are the only two companies locally producing their respective vaccines, Covishield and Covaxin. Russia’s Sputnik vaccine has also been approved, and it will soon be available in the country.

The Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association (CEAMA), representing companies like Samsung and LG among other electronics makers, said companies would resume production when markets open.

“There is no point in manufacturing goods and putting workers at risk. This is true for almost all brands that have gone for maintenance shutdown of their plants,” CEAMA president and Godrej Appliances business head Kamal Nandi was quoted as saying by the publication. 

Nandi added that only 5-6% of normal sales are taking place in the country. 

Indian IT companies to start COVID-19 vaccination drive for employees

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