Suzuki first quarter profit nearly wiped out as coronavirus hits sales

By REUTERS | 3 August 2020

TOKYO: Suzuki Motor Corp today saw its operating profit nearly wiped out during the first quarter because of plunging car demand in India, its biggest market, where coronavirus infections continue to increase.

Japan’s No. 4 automaker posted an operating profit of 1.3 billion yen (RM52mil), higher than a consensus forecast for a loss of 38 billion yen (RM1.5bil) drawn from six analysts polled by Refinitiv.

Suzuki declined to offer forecasts for full-year profit and dividends, citing ongoing uncertainties about the impact of the coronavirus in the coming months.

Global automakers are taking a big hit from the coronavirus outbreak, which shuttered vehicle factories this year and has kept customers out of car dealerships, leading to a drop in sales and production.

The maker of the Swift and the Alto compact hatchbacks suffered a 64% drop in global vehicle sales in April-June, led by a 82% drop in India, which is struggling to control the coronavirus as it reopens its economy.

India accounts for just over half of Suzuki’s global car sales through its majority stake in Maruti Suzuki India Ltd. Sales volume in the country is expected to take another 3 to 4 years to return to peak levels, an industry trade body said last month.