Bengaluru: The prolonged nationwide lockdown to contain the coronavirus spread resulted in zero sales for Toyota Kirloskar Motor (TKM) in India during April, an official said on Friday.
“We were aware that there would be no wholesales in April due to lockdown enforced to contain COVID-19 spread in the country,” said the Indo-Japanese joint venture vice-president for sales and services Naveen Soni in a statement.
The city-based auto major sold 7,023 cars and exported 999 units of Etios model in March before the first phase of the 21-day lockdown was enforced on March 25.
In contrast, the company sold 12,818 units in the domestic market and exported 844 Etios cars the same month a year ago (2019).
“CoVID-19 crisis exacerbated the pressures on the automobile industry. Though the lockdown was necessary for the safety of the people, adverse impact of it on the economic activity has been its side-effect,” asserted Soni.
The lockdown has led to the closure of production in the company’s twin plants, even as the automotive value chain came to a halt.
“Restart of the value chain cycle will be gradual, as the industry is faced with the challenges of low consumer sentiment and rebuilding of the disrupted supply chains, which need factors of production to be restored and the return of the workforce,” said Soni in the statement.
Even as the company waits for resuming operations, its dealers received some enquiries, indicating some movement in the market in hard times.
“To assist our home-bound customers, we have digitized our sales process to enable them have a 360-degree product views for a virtual tour of our vehicles, select finance options and get their prices online,” said Soni.
“The vehicle will be delivered at the customer’s doorstep on buying it,” added Soni.
The over-22-year-old subsidiary of the Japanese auto giant also phased out Etios series and Corolla Altis model by the end of last fiscal (2019-20) though it will service the models with its customers through its outlets across the country.
As a parent company, the Tokyo-based Toyota Motor Corporation has 89 per cent equity stake in TKM, with 11 per cent of Kirloskar Systems Ltd Vikram S.Kirloskar.
The company has about 6,000 employees with two production plants at Bidadi in Ramangaram, having 3.1-lakh units per annum combined capacity.
Bidadi is about 40km southwest of Bengaluru on the Mysuru state highway.