At the end of last month, Haryana and Central government had asked if the company's production infrastructure can develop and produce protective face masks in large numbers in the fight against COVID-19.
Although the company had no knowledge of the product test specifications, MSI Chairman R C Bhargava on a phone call with JV partner Krishna Group Chairman Ashok Kapur committed to developing and producing triple-ply face masks based on the confidence of experience of manufacturing cars, which uses a vast number of materials, production processes and technologies across its value chain, the company said in a statement.
The mask was developed by engineers of Maruti Suzuki and Krishna Group with almost hourly monitoring by Maruti Suzuki management and active support by Department of Textiles, Government of India and was finally approved by SITRA laboratory.
The company had undertaken a few days of mass production to gain confidence in the manufacturing set-up before handing over the masks to the Gurugram administration, it added.
Reflecting on how the company has been able to deliver on its commitment, Maruti Suzuki India Managing Director & CEO Kenichi Ayukawa said,"we had committed to support the government with protection gear and masks even though the test specifications and process technology were not known. My message to all our teams was - some doctor, some nurse will be depending upon our product, so please give top priority to quality and performance testing." "It is a time of national crisis and this is our duty to the nation. We have committed 1 million masks each to Haryana and Gujarat Governments. I am also planning to import some machines and produce N-95 masks," Krishna Group Chairman Ashok Kapur said.
All important safety and physical distancing guidelines have been observed while manufacturing these masks to ensure the safety of all the staff, he added.