It was only recently that India’s automotive industry demanded full exemption from COVID-19 lockdown
As India goes halfway in its third phase of COVID-19 lockdown protocols, several automotive dealerships have been granted permission to open their facilities. However, staff are advised to follow various safety guidelines and periodic sanitisation intervals at all times. On a higher level, the same applies to every automotive manufacturing plant reopened in the last few weeks.
Bajaj Auto has also opened its main production facility in Chakan, Pune with controlled resources and manpower. Following this, KTM and Husqvarna dealerships and authorised service centres across the country have gradually opened. Of course, the outlets in COVID-19 ‘red’ zones will remain closed until further notice.
On social media, KTM India (which retails Husqvarna alongside its regular outlets) has shared the full list of reopened dealerships in ‘orange’ and ‘green’ zones. As mentioned before, the staff would be following recommended safety procedures such as thermal screening of all members and visitors, social distancing practices, systematic sanitisation, etc. Masks would be compulsory for all individuals within the boundaries.
COVID-19 outbreak has made a long-lasting impact on global businesses and out of this, the automotive industry is one of the worst affected. In India, domestic vehicle sales in April 2020 hit zero units as retail outlets, recognised as non-essential services, were not allowed to function. Owing to this, the Indian automotive industry demanded full exemption from the lockdown at the start of May.
Meanwhile, several OEMs have started online sales platforms with attractive benefits to get potential customers on board. Experts in the field predict that the whole scenario of buying a new vehicle would change to go along with the ‘new normals’.
Online platforms would eventually contribute to a good portion of monthly sales. On the other hand, test drives and deliveries will be conducted at the customers’ residence or any other convenient location, in a safe and sanitised environment.
The ongoing crisis hit at the same time when dealerships were struggling to clear their unsold BS4 stock. KTM India has updated all its products to BS6 emission norms, starting with 390 Adventure (a benchmark in its class).
The new Husqvarna Svartpilen 250 and Vitipilen 250 share their 248.8cc BS6-compliant power plant with KTM’s Duke 250. It is good for 29.5bhp @ 9,000rpm and 24Nm @ 7,500rpm The unit is used in a slightly different format in Bajaj’s new Dominar 250, good for 26.6bhp @8,500rpm and 23.5Nm @ 6.500rpm. List of KTM / Husqvarna dealers which are operational for sales / service is detailed in the gallery below.