Suzuki halts factories in critical Indian market

By BLOOMBERG | 24 March 2020

NEW DELHI: Suzuki effectively shut down operations in India, one of its most important markets.

The company’s Gujarat car plant will be halted through March 25, and any reopening will take into consideration directives from the local government, Satoshi Kasukawa, a spokesman for the Japanese manufacturer, said by telephone.

It also suspended a vehicle and motorcycle facility in Haryana.

Thought Suzuki was faring better than rivals in the early stages of the global coronavirus outbreak, the pandemic has been catching up to the Japanese automaker recently.

Shares of Suzuki are now down about 43% this year, after initially outperforming other Japanese carmakers.

India represents Suzuki’s biggest market, generating 808 billion yen (RM32bil) in net sales in the first nine months of the fiscal year, exceeding Japan’s 833 billion yen (RM33bil) in revenue.

Suzuki has also shuttered its auto plant in Pakistan as of March 24, with plans to reopen on April 7.