Beverage-maker Coca-Cola has reportedly suspended operations at three of its manufacturing plants in India, as the company sees operations as "economically unviable" in the long term.
Coca-Cola India's bottling unit Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages has suspended manufacturing at the Kaladera near Jaipur (Rajasthan), Vishakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) and Brynihat (Meghalaya), Press Trust of India reported.
The move could affect at least 300 employees.
"The decision to close down a plant is a business decision taken on the basis of its long-term economic viability and market demand of the products being manufactured at that particular plant," a source told the news agency.
"Accordingly, the decision to suspend manufacturing at these locations, including Kaladera, was made. At these locations, all operations except for manufacturing is continuing," the source said.
In December last year, Coca-Cola had said the per-capita consumption of aerated drinks in India is very low compared to other nations.
"Like with any other manufacturing organisation, we are going through a process of consolidation where new state-of-the art facilities are being built and existing production capacities are being optimised," a Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages Pvt Ltd (HCCBPL) spokesperson told PTI.
"With regard to our Kaladera plant in Rajasthan, while we have currently suspended manufacturing, we are continuing with all other operations at Kaladera. We also retain the licence to produce at this plant, which is testimony to the fact that should there be a change in demand and volume, we may utilise this latent capacity at the Kaladera plant," the spokesperson said.
Currently, HCCB has 54 plants in India. The company makes soft drinks such as Coca-Cola, Thums Up, Fanta, Limca, Sprite and Maaza.