Maruti Suzuki India (MSI) on Friday reported zero monthly sales in April 2020 in the domestic market due to coronavirus-led nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the deadly virus. Which means, for the first time in the history of automotive companies in India, Maruti did not sell a single unit in the domestic market in a month.
"Maruti Suzuki India Limited had zero sales in the domestic market, (including sales to OEM), in April 2020. This was because in compliance with the Government orders all production facilities were closed," India's largest carmaker said in a statement.
The carmaker suspended operations from March 22, in line with orders from the Centre as India rushed to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Maruti, however, exported 632 units from Mundra port following the resumption of port operations. The company said the units were dispatched ensuring all safety guidelines.
As per reports, the auto giant had last month got permission from the Gurugram district administration to restart its Manesar plant on a single shift basis, while fixing the total number of employees at the plant at 4,696. The company had then decided to resume operations only when it can maintain continuous production and sell vehicles.
MSI Chairman RC Bhargava had told PTI, "We will start operations whenever we can maintain continuous production and sell it (vehicles), which is not possible at this point of time."
According to Moneycontrol, the lockdown ordered by the Centre on March 25 whose second phase is due to end on May 3 saw more than 25,000 dealerships draw down their shutters overnight.
“There has never been a crisis like this, none of us has been through this before anywhere else and no one will have a magic wand to make it all go away. It will be a long time before demand gets back on its feet,” said a senior executive from a Delhi-based car making company.
The nationwide lockdown has added more pressure on India's auto industry. Earlier, Rajan Wadhera, President of Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) had said, the auto industry would lose Rs 2,300 crore turnover every day due to the lockdown.