Mercedes-Benz resumes production at its plant in Chakan
Dealerships open in Kerala, Bangalore and Surat
Plans to ramp up production in the coming weeks
Having shuttered their plants for well over a month after the government imposed a nationwide lockdown in March, carmakers in India are now in the process of turning the ignition switch, slotting into first gear and slowly but steadily restarting operations. Bajaj Auto, Hero MotoCorp, Toyota India and Isuzu India have all announced resumption of operations at their respective plants, and now, Mercedes-Benz India has joined the list, having restarted production at its plant in Maharashtra.
Mercedes’ plant – which is situated in Chakan – has resumed operations in a graded manner on the directives of the Maharashtra government, with select departments functioning at the plant once again. Only a select number of employees who are essential to the production processes have returned to the plant today, and are observing the social distancing guidelines as defined by the state government. Employees who can operate remotely have been asked to continue working from home. Select Mercedes-Benz dealers – in Kerala, Bangalore and Surat – have also opened up again, with measures in place to sanitise the premises of the outlet, customer touchpoints and maintain social distancing.
With operations resuming today, Mercedes-Benz hopes to ramp up production in the coming weeks as the state of Maharashtra – which has the highest number of COVID-19 patients in the country – looks to emerge from the COVID-19 lockdown and revive the flagging economy. To do its bit, Mercedes-Benz facilitated the setting up of a 1,500-bed isolation ward for COVID-19 patients in the Mhalunge-Ingale village, near Chakan, and has also distributed ration kits to below-poverty-line families in the area.
As part of its strategy to keep the business moving during and after the lockdown, Mercedes-Benz recently rolled out its digital sales platform, which lets potential buyers complete the entire purchase process without having to step out of their home. Powered by digital retail specialist Roadster.com, Mercedes-Benz India's 'Shop' for new cars lists out everything a buyer would need to know – from detailed specifications to the on-road price of the car. It even mentions smaller but important details, such as the availability of a particular model in a city, its VIN number, exterior and interior schemes, and it lets buyers unlock offers and view finance options too.
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