New Delhi: Three-wheeler and electric vehicle maker Lohia Auto Industries has put on hold major investments, and is focussing on sustenance for itself as well as suppliers to tide over the impact of coronavirus pandemic, according to a top company official.

The company, which manufactures both diesel and petrol three-wheelers along with electric two and three-wheelers, is also gearing up to resume operations partially although its supply chain is not functional, as two of its suppliers are based out of Maharashtra, which is badly hit by COVID-19.

“Right now it is important to keep the eggs together rather than doing any further investments. We will be definitely keeping on hold major investments as of now. Key would be to sustain this turmoil and to support every people who are in touch with us,” Lohia Auto Industries CEO Ayush Lohia told .

Stressing that the effort will be to tide over the coronavirus impact in the first quarter, he said, “Then we will accordingly take steps for the next financial year or the second or third quarter of this fiscal because it is important for us to sustain ourself in the first quarter”.

Lohia further said, “We have taken a call that we will try and support from our side the suppliers and employees together. We have definitely not zeroed in on how it will be done, but we will be doing it once things start to get normal”.

At present, he said, the company is primarily focusing on its three-wheelers, some of which it has adapted for various applications that can be used in the present circumstances.

“We are focussing on our complete three-wheeler portfolio. We have evolved new products, which serve various purposes depending upon the needs such as those on which where sanitising equipment can be placed and can be used by government and private entities for sanitisation,” Lohia said.

After the experience of lockdown where there has been a marked improvement in pollution levels in cities, he said, “We are anticipating a boost in demand of environment friendly electric three-wheelers. We have already started modification like putting up a glass or plastic sheet between driver and passenger”.

In electric two-wheelers, he said, “we will be mainly in B2B segment because that is one area which is a low hanging fruit”.

The company has decided not to focus on B2C segment as customers will be less ready to spend on high technology expensive product like an electric two-wheeler during and immediately after the pandemic blows over.

When asked about the company’s plans for resuming operations, Lohia said, “We have also got permission to operate our plant but we are preparing ourselves to operate”.

The company is preparing for back-end supply chain to be ready as it is not yet fully open with its suppliers in multiple locations like Maharashtra, Delhi-NCR and Uttarakhand, he added.

“We are still trying to get in touch with our supplier base and check if they can operate. Then at least we can start few supplies which are for institutional and B2B clients,” he said.

Lohia Auto has certain orders from B2B clients who want to use its electric two and three-wheelers for deliveries for essential goods, he said, adding “that has not been happening because our supply chain is not ready yet. Maharashtra, where two of our suppliers are located, is badly hit and they have no plan to start yet”.

The company’s other suppliers are located in Delhi-NCR and Uttarakhand, while its own manufacturing unit is at Kashipur in Uttarakhand.

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