Maruti Suzuki net profits have declined by a massive 28% for quarter ending March 2020
2020 is not even half way through, and it has been the worst year for the Indian Auto Industry, thanks to the ongoing Corona Virus crisis. Production, Dispatch, Deliveries and Services of cars and two wheelers have been majorly stuck since the later half of March’20.
April’20 was a disaster for most OEMs with almost 0 sales in the entire month. However, thanks to the relaxations given in the Lockdown 3.0, some dealerships, service centers and factories have started to operate, though with a limited workforce. Most OEMs are now moving towards contact-less experiences for all interactions with customers. One key pillar for these touch-free experiences are online car booking portals which are being promoted by all major car manufacturers.
Maruti has confirmed that it has received 5,000 online bookings, which are encouraging figures, considering that the Lockdown is still going to continue for a foreseeable future. Meanwhile, Maruti’s Manesar facility has also resumed operations but with limited manpower. Till date, it has dispatched 2,300 cars across the country.
Talking about Maruti’s touchpoints, Maruti has confirmed that its 1,900 workshops have opened up. Out of its sales network of around 2,500 touchpoints, around 33% outlets have opened up. Interestingly, 60% of these operational sales points are based in rural areas, majorly because most metros are currently under red/containment zones.
To ensure that its field force and customers are safe, country’s largest automotive manufacturer has also issued a new comprehensive SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) to its dealer partners. All these guidelines are aimed at ensuring that hygiene is maintained across its touchpoints and the premises are safe for its field force and customers.
As per the SOP, all dealerships will be complying by social distancing guidelines. To begin with, customers will now have to take prior appointments with the dealerships before visiting the showrooms. Dealership’s staff will be handling prospective buyers on a one-on-one basis. However, it will be planned in such a way that customers are handled one at a time.
To obtain an entry to the premises of any touchpoint (sales/service), all customers and staff members will have to undergo a compulsory thermal scan. Test drives will be provided to customers only if the customers will insist. For all test drives, seats of the test drive vehicles will be wrapped with a disposable cover which will be disposed after every test drive. Other OEMs like Mahindra and Honda too have been taking similar approaches as far as resumption of business is concerned.