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Maruti Suzuki MD Kenichi Ayukawa tests COVID positive, for the second time

Kenichi Ayukawa, managing director and chief executive of Maruti Suzuki India Limited has been tested positive for COVID-19 once again. He has been admitted to Medanta Hospital in Gurugram and is asymptomatic which means that he is not showing any symptoms of the virus. He decided to get admitted because he lives alone and his family lives in Japan.

A spokesperson said, “Like last time, this time too he is asymptomatic but decided to get himself admitted as his family is in Japan and he lives alone”. Our country is facing a serious threat against coronavirus as the cases are increasing rapidly. Some cities have implemented lockdown due to which the automobile manufacturers are also struggling because they cannot run their manufacturing plants.

Maruti Suzuki India Limited will also be shutting down their plant from 1st May through 9th May. This is being done because of the annual maintenance. Previously, the plant was supposed to shut down in June. However, it has been postponed. All the factories including the Gujrat plant will be closed for this duration. They will also be supporting the government in diverting oxygen so that more lives can be saved. Other manufacturers like Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India and Hero MotoCorp has also decided to stop vehicle production because of the sudden surge in coronavirus cases.

The company said, “As part of the car manufacturing process, Maruti Suzuki uses a small amount of oxygen in its factories while relatively much larger quantities are used by the manufacturers of components. In the current situation, we believe that all available oxygen should be used to save lives. Accordingly, Maruti Suzuki has decided to advance its maintenance shutdown, originally scheduled for June, to 1st to 9th May. Production in all factories will close for maintenance during this period.”

Recently, Maruti Suzuki’s chairman RC Bhargava also showed concern regarding the increasing number of covid cases and how it can affect the automotive industry. He said that there is no impact on the production but it can be a matter of concern for the future. The lockdowns that happened in some states because of COVID-19 have impacted about 35 percent of the retail sales.

People are still buying new vehicles and RC Bhargava said that Maruti Suzuki has around 2 lakh bookings and its network stock is at sub-optimal levels. They have increased the stock that included various models of Maruti Suzuki from 32,000 to 90,000 units.

He said that there are a lot of pending deliveries across the country but it is difficult to forecast the future demand. As of now, the sales number for Maruti Suzuki are solid. India’s largest automobile manufacturer sold 4,92,235 vehicles during the Quarter. This is an increase of 27.8 percent when compared to the previous year sales. The sales for the domestic market stood at 456,707 units which is a growth of 26.7 percent. The exports also increased by 44.4 percent at 35,528 units. So, Maruti Suzuki did well even after the pandemic that affected the market badly last year. The manufacturer currently has 16 vehicles under its line-up.

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