The lockdown has disrupted our normal way of life and the same case is with car owners as well. It’s a good thing that automobile manufacturers in our country are doing their best to lessen the impact by rolling out customer-centric initiatives and schemes. Maruti Suzuki recently announced that it is extending the duration of free service, warranty and extended warranty till June 30th for customers with cars whose warranty period validity is expiring in May 2020.
Maruti Suzuki said the move is to help the customers who could not avail the previous service and warranty benefits due to the lockdown that was in effect since 25th March across the country. Not only Maruti Suzuki, but several other automakers have offered the extension of service and warranty period to give relief to the lockdown hit customers in the past couple of weeks.
The coronavirus outbreak is proving to be a challenging period for all sectors including the automobile industry. While no cars were sold in April, things are slowly returning to normalcy as carmakers have resumed operations and even reopened select dealerships. The country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India on Thursday said it has partnered with HDFC Bank Ltd to offer flexible finance schemes for new car buyers.
Among various kinds of offers in the scheme, it gives customers an option of an EMI as low as Rs 899/lakh for the first 6 months of the loan tenure. The loans with lower initial payments, which rose later during the tenure, were termed as ‘teaser loans’ by the RBI in 2008.
The loans will be sanctioned as per the applicable policy of HDFC Bank. In addition, in view of the current social distancing norms and the need to reduce physical documentation, HDFC Bank would also be offering Maruti Suzuki customers the option of a post-approval digital disbursement. This is an industry-first solution through its Zip Drive and Digital end-to-end programme for non-HDFC Bank customers as well. Earlier, ICICI Bank had launched a similar scheme on May 26 in partnership with Maruti Suzuki India.
Financing has always been a great enabler in automobile sales with about 80% of cars in India coming through financed purchases. As far as business in post-COVID-19 lockdown is concerned, Maruti Suzuki has put in place a comprehensive standard operating procedure (SoP) for its dealerships across the country. The process ensures the highest level of hygiene and sanitization across all its showrooms for the safety of its customers and employees.
The extension of warranty is certainly going to prove beneficial to the customers whose warranty period validity is expiring in May 2020. The extension will also help in proving that Maruti Suzuki is one carmaker who is concerned about is customer base even during such troublesome times. Maruti and almost every other OEM in the country had previously extended free service and warranty schemes which were scheduled to expire within the lockdown period in the last week of May and in April.