Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) Chairman RC Bhargava had shared about an impending ‘sales boom’ after India’s COVID-19 crisis
Like almost all parts of the world, the Indian automotive industry was badly hit by COVID-19 outbreak. Business plummeted to an all-time low in the past couple of months with domestic sales in April falling to almost zero units. To minimise further losses and explore new possibilities amidst these challenging times, several OEMs have introduced online sales platforms.
These platforms are designed in a way to make the entire buying process (from booking to taking delivery) as easy as possible, in addition to maintaining social distancing. Furthermore, to encourage potential customers to make the shift to online, brands are offering introductory benefits as well. The interactive ‘modules’ also let customers get a vehicle delivered at their doorstep in a safe, sanitised and socially-distanced environment.
With India reaching its fourth stage of COVID-19 control measures, automotive dealerships and related facilities in green and orange zones have been allowed to function with adherence to recommended safety guidelines. Sales, dealership visits and customer enquiries still remain on the lower side.
Despite being in the process of making a gradual recovery from a near-two-month loss in business, automakers might introduce limited-time offers to bring up the numbers. However, RC Bhargava, Chairman of Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL), had a different take when asked about the same.
Speaking to the media about MSIL’s annual sales performance, he mentioned that COVID-19 raises a lot of uncertainty about future business and “big discounts” would depend on prevailing market conditions. Mr Bhargava further added that Maruti Suzuki does not have a surplus for about two months and hence, there is no immediate requirement for discounts as demand continues to be higher than supply.
In phases, the Indian automaker has started resuming operations across its manufacturing facilities, dealerships and service outlets. Maruti Suzuki has apparently sold more than 5,000 units from its reopened dealerships though functioning with relatively lesser employees. It can regain full potential only once India completely recovers from the outbreak.
Mr Bhargava had previously shared that he was expecting a substantial increase in automotive sales after a full-relaxation of India’s lockdown protocols. This would be an indirect result of citizens moving away from public transport services due to safety concerns. A similar trend is being observed in China, the epicentre of SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19. Of course, the Chinese automotive model is pretty much different from that of India — read more details.