India’s largest car maker Maruti Suzuki on Friday reported zero monthly domestic sales for the first time ever in April amid the nationwide lockdown to rein in the coronavirus pandemic. “This was because in compliance with the government orders, all production facilities were closed,” the company said in a statement.
The company, however, exported 632 units from Mundra port following resumption of port operations. It said the units were dispatched after ensuring that all safety guidelines were followed.
The carmaker had suspended operations from March 22. Union minister Prakash Javadekar, who on Thursday interacted with leaders from the automobile industry, said that the sector needs to be brought “back on wheels” after the leaders pitched for measures to stimulate demand as well as manufacturing. “The auto sector is a mass employer and contributes the maximum GST amongst all sectors,” he told reporters after the meeting. “This industry has a significant contribution to the GDP of the country.”
Meanwhile, automobile manufacturer Mahindra & Mahindra also said it has sold zero units in the domestic market in the month of April, The Indian Express reported. The company, however, dispatched 733 vehicles to overseas markets last month.
Domestic sales of vehicles during the month was completely impacted by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the resulting countrywide lockdown, the company said in a statement.
“At Mahindra, we are working hand in hand with all stakeholders, especially our dealer and supplier partners, to get our ecosystem started, once the lockdown is lifted,” Mahindra & Mahindra Chief Executive Officer, Automotive Division, Veejay Nakra told the newspaper. “The safety of employees will be of paramount importance to the company while resuming operations.”
India has so far recorded 35,365 coronavirus cases and the toll rose to 1,152 on Friday, according to figures from the health ministry.