Honda India has announced that its service centres and spare parts stores in the state of Kerala will be open on every Thursday and Sunday of the week. The service centres will be open between 10am and 5pm, and only for vehicles needing immediate attention.
The decision to partially open the 50 Honda service centres was taken after the Kerala Government announced that two-wheeler service centres can resume operations amid a partial lockdown. Kerala has been a role model for the rest of India as it is the first state to have successfully contained the spread of the deadly coronavirus, to quite an extent. By managing to 'flatten the curve', reducing the number of new cases and improving the patient recovery rate, Kerala is slowly making its way back to normalcy. However, there's still some time to go before it's back to business as usual.
The Honda service centres in Kerala will be following strict social distancing norms, with only alternate service bays being operational throughout the day. Units will be washed before they are rolled into the service area whereas vehicles ready for delivery will be sanitised before being handed back to customers. These steps are being taken to limit the risk of infection.
Also, as mandated by the Government, the entire service centre staff will wear face masks and maintain one-metre distance from people at all times. It's advisable that customers adhere to the same practices when they take their vehicles for service.
Honda recently announced that warranty and free services of Honda two-wheelers in India that expire between March 15 and April 15, have been extended by two months. This, and the opening of service centres in Kerala should come as a respite for those worried about the upkeep of their Hondas.
After Kerala, we expect Honda, as well as other two-wheeler manufacturers to resume service centre operations in other parts of the country, depending on the COVID-19 situation and the government's plans of lifting the lockdown in a phased manner.