Automaker Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) has initiated a voluntary retirement scheme for the employees of its manufacturing facility in Bidadi, Karnataka.
The company, which is a joint venture between Japanese auto major Toyota and Kirloskar group, has commenced the scheme for its unionised employees and supervisory category with a minimum of five years of service at the plant. Nava-Jeevana Yojane – a voluntary depersonalisation scheme, commenced from Septemeber 22, is scheduled to run till October 23.
When contacted, TKM Vice-Chairman Shekar Viswanathan told PTI that the scheme is purely voluntary and has no relation to TKMs business situation. “The scheme is launched in order to support the employees to ensure career change with financial security and to achieve their aspirational goals or desired career by separating from the organisation,” Viswanathan said.
Employees opting to apply for the scheme will receive a compensation package in addition to normal retirement benefits, he added.
TKM employs around 6,500 people in the country. It has two plants at Bidadi with a total installed production capacity of 3.10 lakh units per annum. The company churns out models like Innova and Fortuner from the first plant that commenced operations from December 1999. The second facility rolls out models like Corolla Altis, Toyota Yaris and the Etios range.
The company has launched the VRS at a time when the industry is going through an unprecedented slowdown. The overall automobile wholesales witnessed its worst-ever drop in two decades in August with despatches in all segments, including passenger vehicles and two-wheelers, plummeting to all-time low. With a slowing market, manufacturers have been forced to take drastic steps like productions cuts and in some cases even reduction in workforce.
In September, TKM reported a 16.56 per cent decline in total sales at 10,911 units as compared with 13,078 units in the same month last year. Last month, two-wheeler major Hero Moto Corp commenced a Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) for its employees to improve productivity and efficiency.