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Mainstream Carmakers Open Dealerships: Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Toyota, Honda, Renault And More

Modified On May 19, 2020 06:47 PM By Dhruv.A

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Showroom operations are allowed only in the orange and green zones of a few states

  • Most deliveries are of cars booked just before the lockdown. 

  • Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Renault, Honda and others have reopened showrooms and started servicing cars.

  • Stringent safety protocols in effect for the showrooms as well as the display and test drive vehicles.

  • Doorstep test drives and deliveries becoming popular among buyers. 

  • Most carmakers have also started production as per government guidelines. 

After a major lull of more than a month, carmakers are jumping back in action. While some have begun manufacturing operations, others have started selling their existing stock. Carmakers like Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai, Renault and others have even started delivering cars, most of which were booked before the lockdown. The brick-and-mortar stores have been allowed to operate only in the green and orange zones. 

Maruti To Resume Production At Manesar Plant From May 12

Opening after nearly 40 days, Maruti Suzuki has delivered around 1,600 cars across the country. The Gurugram-based carmaker had contacted 1.50 lakh prospective buyers during this period. For now, only around 600 out of the total 3,086 showrooms are operable. 

Hyundai Creta Production Restarts Amidst Lockdown 3.0

Hyundai India, which recently began its factory operations, has also restarted 326 dealerships and 412 service centres. It received 10,000 enquiries and 1,273 bookings since the lockdown first began. Hyundai has delivered 608 vehicles since the reopening of select dealerships. Similarly, Honda India has also opened up 118 showrooms and 155 service centres across the nation. 

Toyota India has also opened 171 dealerships and 146 service centres across India. The Japanese carmaker had also started proceedings at its manufacturing facility in Bengaluru on May 5. Additionally, Tata Motors, FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) and Kia have also begun operations.

Maruti Introduces Hygiene Protocols For Test Drives, Online Sales And Service

Renault has also decided to open dealerships and offices in a phased manner. A total of 194 retail spaces and showrooms are up and running. Its sister brand, Nissan India has also started selling vehicles at select locations across the country. For now, only a handful of manufacturers have reopened a few dealerships, but we can expect others to follow suit in the coming days. 

Most bookings are now being made online with a few brands even accepting digital documents for the verification processes. Several others have set up special drop boxes for insurance and loan papers to avoid physical contact. Maruti Suzuki usually has 28 checkpoints before vehicle delivery, out of which 17-21 have been digitised to reduce human proximity. 

Maruti Suzuki Gains Permission To Manufacture Amidst Lockdown

Dealerships are being constantly fumigated, employees are being thermally screened before entering the premises, face masks have been made mandatory, multiple sanitisation points have been set up, and social distancing norms are being strictly enforced, according to press statements from multiple manufacturers. 

Maruti Introduces Hygiene Protocols For Test Drives, Online Sales And Service

Another important step being taken in this direction is by the thorough sanitisation of display and test drive cars. Only single person test drives are allowed at the moment with the company executive seated in the rear row. What follows after these moments of contact is sanitisation of usual touchpoints like steering wheel, AC vent, dashboard, gear knob, infotainment system, door handles, ORVM knobs, glove box, and seatbelt buckles. The same process is applicable to cars that come in for servicing. 

As stepping out of the house, even in the green and orange zones, isn’t advisable, buyers are opting for doorstep test drives. Not just that, carmakers are even offering the option of having the new car delivered home. Sure, it takes away from the ceremonious joy of collecting a new car with the family but in times like these, safety should take precedence.

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