Suzuki Motor Corporation confirmed on Monday that its operating profit for the first quarter was nearly all wiped out by the extreme fall in demand for cars in India due to COVID-19.
India, Suzuki’s biggest market, has suffered greatly due to the pandemic, being the country with the third highest number of infections, as of August 3 having 1,808,128 cases of the virus, with 581,277 still being active.
Suzuki is Japan’s fourth-biggest automaker, and posted an operating of 1.3 billion yen (€10.442 million), which was higher than the expected loss of 38 billion yen (€305.216 million) which was formulated by six analysts from Refinitiv.
Suzuki refused to provide forecasts for its full-year profit and dividends, claiming that there are numerous ongoing uncertainties as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Global automakers have been one of the hardest-hit companies due to the pandemic, being forced to close plenty of vehicle factories throughout the year and keeping customers out of car dealerships due to lockdown measures, which have all led to drops in sales and production.
During the second quarter (April-June) Suzuki suffered from a 64% drop in global sales, which was mainly led by a massive 82% drop in sales in India, as the country continues to struggle with containing coronavirus as it gradually tries to reopen its economy.
India accounts for more than a half of Suzuki’s global vehicle sales, having a majority stake in Maruti Suzuki India Ltd.
An industry trade body claimed in July that sales volume in the country is expected to need three or four years in order to return to their peak levels, with India suffering more than it was expected to suffer because of the pandemic.
The automaker is primarily known for its highly popular Swift and Alto compact hatchbacks, as well as for its Baleno model.