The severity of the damage that coronavirus pandemic has dealt car manufacturers in recent weeks can best be gauged from an inspiring letter from Mercedes to all its US-based dealers. With short-term as well as medium-term prospects appearing dismal and an uncertainty over long-term recovery path, manufacturers are staring down the barrel the world over, Mercedes possibly included.
In a letter reportedly addressed to its dealer network across the US and signed by CEO Nicholas Speeks, Mercedes has urged for a brave face to be put forward in current times. US-based Automotive News claims to have a copy of the letter which was sent via email to dealers in which Speeks speaks of how best to combat the ongoing stutter in business. He also echoed Winston Churchill's war cry from 1940 when Britain stared at the possibility of a swift defeat at the hands of Nazi Germany in World War II. "Winston Churchill once said, 'If you are going through hell ……. KEEP GOING!' " Speeks reportedly wrote in the letter. "The challenge we have is not of the dimension he was forced to confront but that is exactly what we, all of us, are going to do: Keep going."
The same report states that Speeks has assured Mercedes dealers in the US of the company's commitment towards helping them come out of the current situation. "MBUSA remains absolutely committed to providing you with the support necessary to conduct and preserve both your and our businesses, which we see now more than ever are integral to each other," the letter reads.
(Also read: How coronavirus has ravaged world's largest automotive industry)
Reports suggest that Mercedes USA has assured its dealers of guarantees and margins for the first half of 2020 even if planned targets are not achieved. Other similar support plans are being worked out as well.
While support is indeed required at several levels, these only highlight how giants of the automotive industry the world over are bracing for tougher times ahead. Several manufacturers have shut plants in Europe while others are functioning at almost half of full capacity. The Chinese auto industry, the biggest in the world, has been dealt with a massive blow as well which has had a rippling effect across the world. In India too, the double whammy of coronavirus and stockpiling of BS4 vehicles has dealt a severe blow to several companies and dealers.