Automobile manufacturers Toyota Kirloskar Motor India Ltd and Honda Cars India Ltd on Tuesday announced decision to open respective dealerships and vehicle service centres across the country, with set operating procedures to adhere to social distancing norms for the safety of the sales staff and customers.
This move comes close on the heels of the union government allowing gradual resumption of economic activity, by relaxing lockdown measures, in certain parts of the country, identified as green and orange zones.
Vehicle manufacturers had to close their factories and dealerships from March 22, following the lock down announced by the union and state governments to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. The companies, though, in the meantime were working with its suppliers and dealers to create standard operating procedures (SOPs) that need to be followed once manufacturing and retail operations resume.
Honda Cars announced reopening of 155 dealerships facilities which include 118 showrooms and 155 service outlets.
The dealerships had started opening sequentially after significant easing of restrictions on economic activities by the government last week. The standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the dealerships include preparation before restart of operations in terms of facility readiness, equipment fitness check, availability of personal protective and sanitization equipment, manpower readiness and sanitization. Once the operation starts, there is heightened focus on ‘Contactless Customer’ experience with extensive use of digital mediums, said the company in a statement.
“We would like to assure our customers that our dealerships are geared up to welcome them and providing a safe, secure and contactless environment during their visit. With the gradual opening of dealerships in coming days, our objective is to reignite the joy of buying for our customers at a time when personal mobility will gain extreme significance," added Rajesh Goel, senior vice president and director, sales and marketing, Honda Cars India.
Bengaluru based Toyota Kirloskar Motor also announced partial reopening of 171 dealership outlets across the country. The company also said that 146 service outlets have also started operating.
“Keeping in mind the directives prescribed by the government as well as the resumption challenges, we have devised certain restart guidelines which will further guide our partners and the industry through the ‘new normal’, adjusting to the new norms and the changes brought along with this crisis," said Masakazu Yoshimura, managing director, Toyota Kirloskar Motor.