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Heavy rain batters Tamil Nadu’s auto manufacturing hub

Many parts of Chennai and the suburbs have been flooded from the incessant rains that have hit the city in the past 24 hours, amid the worst ever flood situation in Tamil Nadu.

india Updated: Dec 02, 2015 15:39 IST
Chennai rains,Auto production in Chennai,India's Detroit
Chennai’s Marina beach road is covered with rainwater as commuters attempt to navigate their way after heavy rains on December 1. Normal life has been badly affected due to incessant rains.(PTI Photo)

Heavy rains in Tamil Nadu have battered one of the country’s largest auto manufacturing hubs and forced plants to shut for the second time in less than a month, crippling production and deliveries from the region.

Ford, Daimler and Nissan were among the automakers who told employees to stay home on Wednesday, as the heaviest rainfall in a century made it impossible to cross low-lying areas around Chennai.

“Everyone is at home. Yesterday, workers were sent home after a half day, and today we are shut. Tomorrow too, probably,” said an official at Daimler India, which produces commercial vehicles outside Chennai.

Read | No respite for Chennai, Met dept warns of more rains

Ford said it had also shut its plant, with an annual capacity of 340,000 engines and 200,000 vehicles.

“For the safety of our employees, we have halted production at our Chennai assembly and engine plants on Wednesday,” a spokesman said. “We are carefully monitoring the situation and will return to normal operations as soon as conditions improve.”

Read | In troubled waters: Chennaites use Twitter to help the rain-hit

The area outside Chennai is known as “India’s Detroit” for its concentration of automakers. Others in the rain-lashed area include Renault-Nissan , Hyundai Motor Co and motorcycle maker TVS Motor, whose shares were down almost 4 percent on Wednesday.

A Renault-Nissan India spokesman said the automaker would be cancelling shifts, but aimed to resume operations once conditions improved as there had been no damage to its plant.

Spokespeople for Daimler, Hyundai and TVS were not immediately reachable for comment.

Read more:

Chennai’s floods show the need for climate-conscious urbanisation

First Published: Dec 02, 2015 13:13 IST