The nationwide lockdown initiated due to the COVID’19 pandemic has created havoc in the entire automobile sector. The automotive industry has come to a standstill with halted production and ceased deliveries. With the ease of lockdown, companies have started limping back to business. TKM resumed its operations in a phased manner in strict adherence to the guidelines issued by the authorities. Almost 60 percent of the company’s dealership were functional by the middle of the month. Car showrooms in the green zone were granted permission to operate amid the lockdown.
Toyota Kirloskar Motor sales in the month of May 2020 in India saw a decline of 86.5 percent. The company announced that it has sold a total of 1639 units during last month in comparison to 12,138 units that were sold in the domestic market. It had exported 928 units alone of the Etios in May 2019. In the statement, it also said that they had resumed production at their Bidadi plant. Since May 26, the manufacturer has been catering to pending orders that they had received ever since the nationwide lockdown was announced.
TKM has been helping existing customers during this challenging time. The company rolled out the Customer Connect Program along with several other features with an aim to ease customer’s problems regarding vehicle care. The features include the extension of vehicle warranty for new vehicles along with the Toyota vehicles purchased from Toyota U-trust, free maintenance service, roadside assistance, extended warranty, and prepaid maintenance package for up to two months. The company will also be providing free emergency support of up to 15 days after the lockdown to those who will not be able to renew the coverage. In the case of emergencies where Toyota vehicles are involved, the dealerships are providing doorstep facilities as essential services.
“We are thankful to the Govt. as well as to our supplier and dealer partners who have enabled us to resume production last month. We are conscious of the dealer business conditions in various parts of the country and we have been prioritizing production at our end as per dealer requirements, both in terms of quantity as well as the grades that they require. The market has been slow and with demand being less, we have been able to wholesale only 20% of what we would have clocked under a normal situation. However, retail sales (sales from dealer to the customer) have been much higher when compared to wholesales (TKM sales to dealers), thereby helping us reduce the month closing inventory levels at dealerships. We have also seen a significant surge in customer orders and inquiries online, through digital platforms. We are very thankful to our customers as well who trust us and our products as well as have been patient with us. We have now resumed operations in more than 300 Toyota outlets across the country, with ongoing sales operations in close to 220 outlets and service operations in more than 230 outlets. From the sales and service point of view, business is ramping up and we are exceeding 50% of our normal capacity from the open outlets. We would like to ensure our customers that with the resumption of production at our plant, our first aim is to cater to the immediate needs of our customers in areas where deliveries are possible. We have been receiving online orders as well and have started to address them while placing the highest priority to the safety and well-being of all stakeholders and by adopting the ‘Safety and Health First’ approach at all times,” commented Naveen Soni, Senior. Vice President, Sales & Service, TKM.
Apart from this, in the wake of a growing number of coronavirus cases in India and implications brought about by the COVID-19 across the nation, the brand has announced its continued support and some specific measures to aid the State Government in its fight against the pandemic. The company distributed 1,000 essential kits to the daily wage workers who did not have enough food to feed their families. The employees of the company had provided 27 boxes of food kits in order to support around 30 families. Apart from this, over 3000 Hazmat suits were distributed to health force workers in a phased manner to help fight the spread of COVID-19.
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