Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL), the country's largest passenger car manufacturer, on Wednesday reported 47 per cent year-on-year fall in its total sales during March to 83,792 units, as automakers in the country were forced to suspend operations amid a nationwide lockdown aimed to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
With this, the company ended FY 2019-20 with total sales of 1.563 million units, down 16.1 per cent from 1.862 million in the previous fiscal.The sales during March 2020 are not comparable with sales in March 2019 due to suspension of operations from March 22 in line with national policy, said the company.
"Maruti Suzuki remains committed to the safety and well-being of its employees, business partners and customers. The company will continue to support government at the Centre and state levels and follow all advisories in combating COVID-19," it said in a statement.
Data showed the company sold 76,976 vehicles last month, 47.4 per cent less than 145,000 in March last year. Export sales were down 55 per cent to 4,712 units from 10,463 in the year-ago period.
In the domestic market, light commercial vehicles suffered a blow of 71.5 per cent to 736 units in March 2020 compared to 2,582 units in March 2019.
The automobile sector has been experiencing a slump for several months with nearly all manufacturers reporting falling sales due to subdued consumer sentiment amid an economic slowdown.
Auto dealers now face a halt in customer walk-ins with rising coronavirus cases being detected in India and subsequent countrywide lockdown.