‘We are able to sell whatever we produce’: Maruti chairman Bhargava


Maruti chief RC Bhargava said that rising prices of inputs remain a concern and have already resulted in a price hike recently. (File photo)

NEW DELHI: As the country slips into lockdown and corona restrictions rise due to increasing cases of the spread of the deadly virus, Maruti Suzuki said on Tuesday that the company’s sales and production remain unaffected, and it is “able to sell whatever we produce.”
Company chairman RC Bhargava said while it is difficult to make a forecast on demand in the coming months, the numbers so far remain robust with a heavy backlog of around pending deliveries.
“We are producing at full capacity. There is no shortage, and labour is also available,” Bhargava said on the sidelines of the company’s quarterly results that were announced digitally.
On whether the auto industry requires support from the government, he said that the governments are busy handling the pandemic and can’t be burdened with industry issues.
Asked about the impact on sales due to lockdown in key states such as Delhi, Maharashtra and Karnataka, he said, “Even if some markets are down, there are enough markets that are open.”
He said that demand for personal mobility remains healthy, and would rather see a spike as concerns around social distancing rise after the second wave of coronavirus. “More and more people would want personal transport. The demand will not weaken.”
Asked if the rural markets have been impacted this time around in view of rising cases, he said that there are no indications like this so far. “Covid still remains an urban disease… there is no reason why rural should be affected by the pandemic.”
The closure of dealerships due to corona shutdowns and concerns have led to concerns amongst certain companies that sales in the immediate will be hit badly. Also, there are concerns that rising cases of coronavirus will impact production at factories, especially as there are instances of workers and their families – both at companies and their suppliers — getting affected.
Bhargava said that there have been around 1,280 active cases in Maruti which has a manpower of around 30,000 units. “However, this has not affected the availability of people or production.”
The company has already started production from a new line in parent Suzuki’s plant in Gujarat.
Bhargava said that rising prices of inputs remain a concern and have already resulted in a price hike recently. “We don’t know what will happen in the future. We need to keep watching the situation, and take a decision accordingly.”
On the shortage of semiconductors, he said that the “crisis is not yet over” and shortfalls are still there. “… we are still dealing with it.. (and) it will be there for sometime.”