Coronavirus a blessing in disguise for auto sector, says Maruti Suzuki
New Delhi : Coronavirus pandemic which may have shattered all sales figures to all-time low, may become a blessing in disguise after the lockdown in India ends.
R.C. Bhargava , chairman at Maruti Suzuki India Ltd., has claimed that there will be a car boom after lockdown due to social distancing practice.
"If buyers become apprehensive of sharing space with another passenger it will increase demand for vehicles," Maruti's Chairman R.C. Bhargava said in a phone interview Monday. "It's not the same India anymore. People's attitudes toward buying will change."
The comments from Maruti Suzuki comes at a time when the sales figure of the company have dropped by up to 52% in March and manufacturers including the nation's biggest SUV maker Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. and Tata Motors Ltd., the owner of British luxury brand Jaguar Land Rover, were forced to stop production after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide lockdown to stop the virus from spreading.
Bhargava's comments are somewhat backed up by data from China, where dealerships are witnessing daily sales running at levels seen before the economic freeze. Customers appear more motivated than before the pandemic to buy a car because they see personal vehicles as safer than public transport.
One of the major challenges which will be faced by the companies would be the number of employees, which is likely to be less, soon after lockdown and the companies would have to manage the production with less staff.
"Keeping employees safe will be a very, very difficult task," Bhargava said.