The Indian automobile industry is keeping a close watch on the ongoing farmers' protest as the stir now reaches close to one of the major manufacturing hubs in Haryana's Manesar.
Following no agreement in their talks with the government, the agitating farmers have announced that they will block the Delhi-Jaipur highway (National Highway 48) on or before December 12.
After blocking the Singhu and Tikri borders connecting Delhi to Haryana, and the Chilla and Ghazipur borders with Noida (Uttar Pradesh) and Ghaziabad (Uttar Pradesh) respectively, the farmers will now block NH 48, disrupting Delhi's supply chain from another direction.
At present, the Gurugram and Manesar industrial belt houses an estimated 1,000 medium and small ancillary units comprising various vendors of raw materials and auto parts.
The area is home to automobile majors such as Maruti Suzuki, Hero MotoCorp and Honda Motocycle & Scooter India.
Manufacturers and OEMs here make everything from nut bolts to the fully assembled vehicle unit.
The area is not just known as the hub for auto parts but even provides major tertiary services like transport, due to its strategic location.
Talking to IANS, an industry insider with an auto major said: "We have our manufacturing plant in the area and the highway is one of the key supply routes to our dealers towards the western states."
"We are keeping a close watch over the evolving situation, but as of now no impact has been felt on operations as such."
Another official with a leading industry player said that the company will wait for the outcome of the latest decision by the farmers as it will not take hasty decisions like dumping of inventory on to dealers as the Covid induced slowdown has not yet fully abated.
However, the company will take appropriate action as and when required.
"Any disruption to movement of goods due to hartal, forced shutdown, bandhs will have its impact not only on supply chain to any industry but also on end customers or consumers," said Sridhar V, Partner, Grant Thornton Bharat LLP.
"The degree of impact will vary according to the tenor of these protest in whatever form. However, industries and business would hope these events do not continue for long and especially in these unusual times when the economy is limping back to normal."