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BW Businessworld

A Case For Personal Mobility

Anticipating record off-take post lockdown, OEMs rev up their production and retail facilities.

Photo Credit : Reuters

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Numerous consumer surveys are claiming that once lockdown is lifted, shared mobility will take a hit and personal mobility (cars, bikes pre-owned vehicles) will witness unprecedented growth.  Discerning the changing consumer psychographics, a number of carmakers and two-wheeler cos are either resuming their manufacturing activities in batches as well as their retail operations in select pockets. 

Maruti Suzuki India on 12th May resumed its manufacturing operations at its Manesar plant in Haryana after about 50 days of closure due to the coronavirus-led lockdown. The country’s largest passenger carmaker, which has initiated the work on a single shift basis from this facility, will also be kicking off production at its Gurgaon facility on 18th or 19thof this month.  Despite the COVID-induced slowdown, the company is on course to invest Rs. 2,700 crore during this financial year vis-à-vis Rs. 3,250 crore it had spent during FY 2019-20. The company have received over 5,000 bookings in the last few days.

Maruti Suzuki chairman R.C. Bhargava maintained that the company is allowed to restart operations with one shift in the initial phase and will focus on a limited number of its bestselling models.  While announcing its latest financial results, he maintained, “There is no point in speculating given various uncertainties existing in the market. Production, supply, demand, affordability, economic growth all of it is under stress - Car sales cannot happen in abundance.” While talking about its dealership network, “One-third of our dealers have opened out of which 60% are from the hinterland. Around 2,000 more dealers will be opened but it will take some time.” 

Hyundai Motor India Ltd., the country’s second-largest carmaker, recently announced that it has rolled-out 200 cars on the first day of production restart at its Plant at Sriperumbudur, Chennai. The company commenced production operations on May 08, 2020.  

Likewise, the country’s leading two-wheeler manufacturer Hero MotoCorp is rapidly gearing up to commence operations, as per the guidelines stipulated by the Ministry of Home Affairs of the Government of India. To begin with, the company is commencing operations in a graded manner at three of its manufacturing plants – Gurugram and Dharuhera (both in Haryana), Haridwar (Uttarakhand) and additionally the Global Parts Center (GPC) at Neemrana in Rajasthan. These manufacturing plants reopen from 12th May and production at these facilities commenced from 13th May.

Hero MotoCorp has commenced its retail operations with the re-opening of more than 1500 customer touch-points including authorized dealerships and service centres. These outlets contribute to around 30% of the Company’s total domestic retail sales.

Another leading two-wheeler manufacturer Honda 2Wheelers India today shared that post the government relaxation of rules, its dealerships are now step-wise moving towards a new way of doing business. At the same time, Honda continues to take added measures to provide liquidity support to its dealer family in these challenging times.


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