The automobile industry is the latest casualty of the coronavirus pandemic with the market leader in passenger vehicles – Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) announcing the suspension of manufacturing operations to prevent the spread of the virus, with more players expected to join as many state governments have enforced lockdowns on account of the rapid spread of the coronavirus.
In a press release statement, MSIL said,” Maruti Suzuki has been taking all recommended precautions in its operations against the spread of COVID-19, which includes sanitization and hygiene, temperature checks, maximizing video-conferencing and minimizing contact, closing employee travel, health and distancing advisories to employees and following all government directions on the subject.”
The company has decided to shut production and office operations at its facilities in Gurugram and Manesar, Haryana with immediate effect till further notice. The R&D Centre at Rohtak will also remain closed. The company added that the duration of the shutdown will depend upon government policy. The two plants in Haryana produce around 15.5 lakh vehicles per annum.
On the product front, Maruti Suzuki’s latest launch was the Vitara Brezza Petrol. The S-Cross petrol was to be launched before April 1st too, however, the current state of affairs has derailed most things the World had planned. The 2020 Dzire has also been introduced with a minor facelift and more features. A petrol-only car now, the 2020 Dzire is powered by a 1.2-litre, K-Series, Dualjet engine which now comes paired with a stop-start system to enhance fuel economy. Maruti Suzuki has bumped the compression ratio which has resulted in an increased power output of 88.5 hp @ 6000 rpm. On the inside, a new colour display now occupies space between the two dials in front of the driver.
For the uninitiated, Maruti Suzuki will only be manufacturing petrol-powered cars in the BS6-era, which kickstarts from April 1st, 2020. The carmaker is betting big on CNG as a replacement for diesel, for those who are after cars which are wallet-friendly at the fuel station and require lesser refills. At the Auto Expo 2020 which went by, Maruti Suzuki showcased the Futuro-e, which previews the new design language for future products from the manufacturer.