Accepting New Car Delivery During Lockdown: An Experience
Published On May 31, 2020 01:19 PM By Sonny
The new car collection process as experienced by one of our own
The country has been under lockdown since March 25 due to the coronavirus pandemic and the regular extensions make it hard for most of us to realise big plans like buying a new car. However, some of the restrictions are being rolled back and businesses are being allowed to operate, albeit in a limited capacity. As for car purchases, the showroom experience has changed radically with the new health and safety norms in place.
The same was witnessed by a CarDekho team member who went out to collect their new car. Here are their key takeaways:
The dealership from where you’ll be collecting your new car should be calling you beforehand with instructions for the new safety protocol. The basic compliance would be to wear a face mask when visiting the showroom as made mandatory by the authorities.
Don’t worry about parking
It's a lockdown. Most people aren’t allowed to be out and about right now and even businesses are working with a restricted workforce. This showroom’s parking area was empty, a stark contrast to the usual crowd which left no free spaces at the location and you’d likely hand your keys over to the valet.
New checking process at entry
Before COVID-19, they’d sweep us with metal detectors, now they’ll check your temperature with the infrared thermometers and ask you to sanitise your hands with the solution they are armed with. It’s the new norm for almost any shopping experience these days.
Sanitised showroom and masked staff
This particular showroom had the usual number of cars on display but fewer staff members bustling about. The ones that were present were all wearing face masks. There were also motivational stickers on the floors about fighting COVID-19. The showroom had a reassuring stench of disinfectant, much like a hospital.
Sitting apart and sweating it out
In the seating area of the showroom, the staff had marked out spaces for people to sit apart so as to maintain the social distancing norms. However, they forgot to swap out their leatherette sofas for something more breathable which combined with the heat of the Indian summer without air conditioning makes for a sweaty time for those seated. The AC has to remain off in closed public areas like shops and malls as part of the safety norms since the air circulation could hamper the efforts to contain the spread of the virus. The baking heat is amplified inside since it is an all-glass showroom.
Complete the formalities and payments
Even in the contactless purchase process, some formalities require human presence and these were dealt with at the time of delivery. If there are any pending payments for accessories or such, those are also cleared at this stage. After this, you get the keys to your new and sanitised car that you can drive home.
The dealerships of many carmakers often carry out a small fanfare whenever a customer comes to collect their new car such as a commemorative photo, a ribbon, a box of chocolates or such. Understandably, this is not the time for such group activities which means the send-off from the showroom is a subdued one.