Tata Motors has announced that it has restarted manufacturing operations for both commercial and passenger vehicles from its plants in Pantnagar, Uttarakhand and Sanand in Gujarat after lockdown restrictions were eased. The company's facilities in Lucknow, Dharwad in Karnataka, Jamshedpur and Pune are in final stage of readiness and expect to begin production over the next few days. The Pantnagar plant has been operational since last week.
The company issued a statement today saying that its 'dedicated restart’ teams have curated detailed guidelines and conducted intensive trainings for maintaining social distancing at all workplaces, shop floors and canteen facilities. Enhanced sanitisation measures are being implemented and only limited, operationally required staff is being asked to come to work in personal vehicles or company transport to guard against spreading of the coronavirus.
Nearly 200 dealerships and 300 workshops for passenger vehicles and over 400 sales outlets and 885 workshops for commercial vehicles have also begun operations with a new set of standard operating procedure (SOPs) defining minimal interactions and maintaining prudent social distance while engaging with customers. Over the last few days, customers have initiated new bookings, deliveries of passenger vehicles have commenced and workshops are seeing increasing inflow of vehicles for servicing.
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Every employee re-joining the workplace is required to download and use the mandatory ‘Aarogya Setu’ app. Employees are also required to periodically check-in and declare the status of their own, as well as their family’s health on the Tata Motors in-house health track portal. In addition, all employees and visitors entering and exiting the plant premises are also being screened for temperature checks.
Tata Motors also said that the company has used the lockdown time to design new ways of working within the mandatory safety guidelines and has adopted digital sessions conducted virtually to orient its employees, dealers and supplier partners for future.
Guenter Butschek, CEO & MD, Tata Motors said, “Our utmost priority is the safety and wellbeing of our employees, customers and ecosystem partners. Therefore, we restart operations with limited, essential staff in each plant, adhering to all mandated safety norms while efficiently meeting operational requirements. The support and cooperation extended by local authorities, state and central Government, our Union partners and our dedicated workforce have been instrumental for a smooth restart. We will scale operations in a graded manner as the entire enabling ecosystem of suppliers, vendors, dealers and customers comes up to speed. We are cautiously optimistic and staying agile to cater to an evolving demand. The lockdown was our opportunity to accelerate our digital journey and evolve new ways of working, while servicing and supporting our customers. We are well positioned to redefine mobility with our new product portfolio, customised offerings and enhanced customer experience."
Tata Motors is also offering test drives for customers on request and with prior appointment at a preferred location. Only one person drives the vehicle with a dealer staff member sitting in the rear seat to avoid any physical contact. Following every test drive, the vehicle is fully sanitised including replacing protective covers shielding the interiors of the vehicle that come in contact while driving.
Tata Motors has recently launched ‘Click to drive’, an end-to-end online platform to select and buy cars. From the comfort of their homes, customers can log in, select the vehicle of their choice, avail a test drive and choose from variety of financing options to book their preferred car and SUV. This platform is integrated with all dealers who arrange for the delivery of the vehicle nationwide.
For its commercial vehicle customers, Tata Motors extended all possible technical support to keep vehicles running during the lockdown. Additionally, timelines of vehicle warranty, free services and Tata Suraksha AMC have also been extended.