Maruti Suzuki India on Friday, May 1, reported zero monthly domestic sales for the first time ever in April, as the country remained under lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The carmaker suspended operations from March 22, in line with orders from the government as India rushed to curb the spread of the virus.

As of Friday morning, total cases in the country rose to over 35,000, including 1,147 deaths. The nationwide lockdown has added more pressure on India's auto industry that was struggling with a slowing economy and lean demand.

The logo of Maruti Suzuki India Limited
The logo of Maruti Suzuki India Limited is seen on a glass door at a showroom in New Delhi, India, February 29, 2016.REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee/File Photo

Maruti Suzuki chalked out action plan for Covid-19

Earlier, Maruti Suzuki chalked out an action plan for resuming operations post COVID-19 with a detailed standard operating procedure (SOP) on maintaining social distancing, hygiene and employee safety.

Maruti Suzuki Managing Director Kenichi Ayuzawa laid down the salient features of the new strategy post-COVID-19 and in a note circulated in the company has said: "Under such a situation, aligning with the national policy and government guidelines we will progressively resume operations in a graded manner. However, post lockdown we must continue to take all necessary precautions for a much longer duration. Aspects like 'Social distancing' will have to be integrated into our lifestyle."

The policy revolves around safety, for self, Safe at Home, Safe for family, Safe in Transit, Safe of Colleagues, Safe at Workplace and Safe for Community.

Maruti Suzuki's plant at Manesar
Cars are seen parked at Maruti Suzuki's plant at Manesar, in the northern state of Haryana, August 11, 2019.Reuters

"To facilitate this change, our COVID-19 Task Force, under the guidance of management, has worked out a detailed SOP for the safe start of operations. Each element of this plan integrates YOUR SAFETY at the core. Guidelines include starting from home to going back safely," the Maruti MD said.

The SOP details aspects like behaviour at the workplace, usage of the canteen and other common facilities, guidelines in case of sickness and health emergency are explained in detail."In addition, the 'Wellness Mitra' mobile app for Maruti Suzuki family, will help you to stay connected and updated about developments related to COVID-19", he said.

For social distancing, the company will not be working with not more than 50 % manpower. There will be markings at all crowd gathering places to facilitate social distancing.