Imagenation

Maruti Suzuki is hitting the accelerator, hard

India’s largest auto-maker is wasting no time in recovering from the coronavirus-led break  

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Published 2 months ago on May 25, 2020 Read
Photo: PTI

Trouble comes in threes and the country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki knows this. First, the company had to shut down all its facilities due to COVID-19 restrictions. Then, it registered zero sales in the domestic market in April 2020. Third, it reported a dip of 24.7% in net profit for FY20. Phew, that’s rough!

But, just like its cars, the company knows how to weather any rough storm. On May 12, it restarted manufacturing operations at the Manesar plant in Haryana with a total of 4,696 employees working in a single shift. As per reports, government permission had been granted to resume operations on April 22, but the company wanted to begin only when it could maintain continuous production of vehicles.

The company has also lifted the locks from 600-odd dealerships across the country. This includes 474 Arena outlets, 80 Nexa dealerships and 45 commercial vehicle sales outlets. Apart from ensuring hygiene and sanitisation of touch points, the auto major has also implemented comprehensive standard operating procedures and digital infrastructure at all its outlets. Customers can now buy vehicles without visiting the showrooms, state reports.

Further, Maruti Suzuki has also begun doorstep delivery of cars. All staff visiting the customers’ homes will follow safety protocols such as wearing masks and carrying sanitisers, and the vehicles will be fully disinfected before delivery, informed the company. It is also monitoring the health of all employees through a wellness app every day and only those who report good health for at least 14 consecutive days would be allowed to resume work. 

With such a robust plan in place, Maruti Suzuki eyes no cuts in jobs or salaries and has earmarked a capex of Rs.27 billion for the current fiscal. But, as of May 25, one employee of the Manesar has tested positive for coronavirus. As risks of restarting operations begin to surface, the automaker has to be tightly buckled up for the bumpy ride ahead.   
 
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