The overall number of COVID-19 cases in the country is still on the rise and certain cities are still coronavirus hotspots. However, a silver lining comes in the form of the newly created orange and green zones that a large part of the country now fall under. Businesses in these regions have slowly resumed operations, and some include automotive manufacturing plants and dealerships.
Over the last week, multiple companies have announced that they are restarting production. We’ve compiled a list of two-wheeler brands that have revived their manufacturing plants and/or sales and service centres:
Piaggio Vehicles (PVPL), a subsidiary of the Italian Piaggio Group has restarted manufacturing at all three of its Baramati plants after receiving permission from the government. The company says its plants are operational with all safety standards as per the government directions. In addition, Piaggio has also opened six regional offices across India in accordance with the directions of the local authorities. A nationwide reopening of dealerships has also begun, with sanitisation measures in place and complying with regulations regarding employee attendance.
At present, 135 CV dealerships and 65 two-wheeler dealerships of Piaggio have reopened and are functional, ensuring customers have access to the service and warranty extensions that the company began to offer at the start of the COVID-19 crisis.
Bajaj Auto resumed operations at its Aurangabad, Pantnagar and Chakan factories earlier this month. A couple of days ago, select dealerships across India resumed sales and services as well.
KTM has published a list of dealerships across the country that have restarted operations. The list also reveals whether each dealership has begun sales and services (or either one of the two) depending on location. You can find the full dealership list on KTM’s social media channels.
Hero MotoCorp commenced its retail operations and reopened more than 1,500 customer touchpoints comprising authorised dealerships and service centres. Meanwhile, on May 7, Hero MotoCorp commenced vehicle dispatches from its manufacturing facilities for the first time in the current fiscal. On May 4, the company resumed operations at its plants in Dharuhera and Gurgaon in Haryana, as well as Haridwar in Uttarakhand.
Royal Enfield commenced production at its Oragadam factory near Chennai on May 6, after partial relaxation of the lockdown came into effect. The Oragadam plant was the first to begin operations in a staggered manner, with minimal staff over a single shift. Operations at the other two manufacturing facilities – Tiruvottiyur and Vallam Vadagal – will begin in a phased manner. A majority of Royal Enfield’s dealer network will continue to remain closed; but around 120 dealerships have begun partial operations. The company expects around 300 dealerships to be operational by mid-May.
Jawa dealerships, in parts of the country where there hasn’t been a spike in cases, have restarted operations too. The company has said that its employees have been trained and equipped to follow social distancing and sanitisation protocols to ensure a safe environment.
TVS Motor Company has resumed operations at its factories in Hosur, Mysuru and Nalagarh. According to the manufacturer, all employees have been handed a manual with details about health and safety measures in place at all three factories. These include high hygiene standards and adequate social distancing between employees.
Select Honda two-wheeler dealerships resumed operations across India from May 4. The two-wheeler maker said that dealerships in the Orange and Green zones are operational, as per government guidelines. Besides showrooms, workshops will restart operations to cater to the service needs of customers.
Okinawa has announced that it has resumed operations with 25 percent of its workforce at its corporate office and manufacturing unit. The two-wheeler brand has shared that it will maintain safety measures at the workplace, manufacturing units, and dealership networks, as it begins business. These measures include the sanitisation of all products prior to dispatch from the assembly line, and the same will be done by dealers receiving the products.
With the economy taking a huge hit during the lockdown and the auto sector battling unprecedented circumstances, the resumption of economic activity is the need of the hour. The month of April 2020 was the worst that the auto sector has ever seen; several companies have reported zero domestic sales. The gradual lifting of the lockdown and resuming businesses give hope that the next couple of months will be different. Stay tuned as we bring you more updates.
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