Ferocity of second wave a surprise to all: Maruti Suzuki Chairman RC Bhargava
Maruti Suzuki India Limited Chairman RC Bhargava said in a recent address to shareholders that while there was optimism in March about FY2021-22, the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic came as a surprise to all and that consequent measures to restrict its spread had an impact on car sales in the country. Bharagava also outlined that there is still potential for sales in the remaining three quarters to bounce past levels of the previous year.
(Also read: Maruti Suzuki July sales report)
Covid-19 pandemic in its second wave hit India hard and wide, penetrating into smaller towns and villages as well. With lockdown restrictions and curfew in almost every state, albeit in varying measures and timelines, operatins at production and retail facilities were once again halted. The Indian auto industry yet again faced the brunt and Maruti Suzuki, the country's largest car maker, sold 353,600 units in Q1. " In March 2021 we were quite optimistic about the outlook for FY2021-22. The suddenness and ferocity of the second wave of the pandemic was a surprise to all, and led to lockdowns and restrictions in most parts of the country," said Bhargava. "The performance in the next three quarters largely depends on how effectively all our citizens follow the government’s advice to get vaccinated and observe safety protocols."
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Bharagava in his address did point towards a possible silver lining. "If we can avert the third wave, or substantially reduce its effect, and there are no further waves, economic activities and sale of cars can improve significantly over what was achieved last year," he said.
The Indian auto industry has once again started emerging from the gloom of the Covid-19 pandemic. July sales have brought some cheer. On the back of a good monsoon, pent-up demand and upcoming festive months, the industry does expect more cheer even if the omnipresent threat of a third Covid-19 wave remains very rea