The advent of the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we think, feel, and act in our daily lives. It has changed the way we behave, it has changed the way we approach life and it surely has changed the definitions of what ‘normal’ entails for our lives going ahead. The impact of the pandemic has been so huge that returning to how life once was, seems like a distant reality. However, slowly but surely, the world is restoring.
As India and the Indian economy struggles to find its feet in this debilitating scenario, the industries have begun to evolve in a manner embracing the “new normal”. This holds especially true for the Indian automotive industry with almost all carmakers and showrooms taking their businesses online.
Car servicing, in particular, has seen a mammoth change in the ways its been carried out as the aftermath of the pandemic. Ever since the lockdown was put into effect, all showrooms and service centers had been inaccessible to the general public. With all vehicles no longer in continuous use, it resulted in issues. However, with the help of online platforms, companies have been able to address the issues faced by the customers. This ingenious method has been specifically aimed towards those fighting the pandemic on the frontline, like essential service providers. Tata Motors has filed for special permissions in several cities where they prioritize help and maintenance services for those professionals working all round the clock to fight the pandemic.
If not able to help the customers due to social distancing, many have opted to use social media platforms as a way to educate the general public of some maintenance and servicing tips. Maruti Suzuki took to online platforms to post tips on how to keep the vehicles healthy and avoid common problems like battery discharge and breakdowns.
Car Servicing has also seen a budding request for car sanitizations, no doubt due to the effects of COVID-19. With many customers looking to sanitize their cars, brands like Tata and Maruti Suzuki have opted for contactless servicing which consists of either servicing at homes, and if perchance not at homes, then with rigorous safety precautions and the “no-touch” initiatives. There’s a huge focus on hygiene and safety, with those being the focal point of the majority of car servicing pleas. Thus online platforms, online booking serving requests to avoid contact as much as possible, at-home maintenance, and cashless, contactless payments are gaining traction in this world afflicted by coronavirus.
Car servicing has evolved from an occasional occurrence to something that is desperately needed, if not an indispensable requirement. Since the public is expected to forego public transport and turn to private vehicles, car servicing will consequentially see a spike. According to Mr. Roy, Senior GM, and Head of Customer Care at Tata Motors, “The coronavirus pandemic has brought about a significant change in the perspective regarding transportation usage in the minds of consumers. Due to the impact of COVID-19 and the implication of strict physical distancing norms, we anticipate that there will be a considerable decrease in the use of public transport and shared mobility. The demand for personal mobility will increase due to the customer’s need to ensure personal safety. Therefore, we anticipate that vehicles visiting workshops will increase in the near future. We also anticipate major digital intervention in the service sector. The customer may request for all service coordination to take place online.”
Change is inevitable, and in the current climate, absolutely essential. Thus contactless and online interactions are all the rage, whether it is in car-buying patterns or car servicing patterns noticed in the public. Physical interaction seems to be a thing of the past and may as well be limited to the bare minimum, if not entirely eliminated in the coming times.