Automobile service centres see dip in biz as WFH becomes new normal | Bengaluru News
October 6, 2020
BENGALURU: Thanks to workfrom-home, virus scare and travel restrictions, many automobile service centres in the city are witnessing a sharp drop in demand. A majority of vehicle owners, particularly techies, have left the city and are working from their hometowns and villages. Some customers are reportedly reluctant to visit service centres due to virus scare. MP Shyam, president (Karnataka chapter), Federation of Automobile Dealers’ Association, said: “Vehicle usage has reduced mainly because of WFH. Service stations are seeing less demand for ‘body & paint services’ because of dip in accident cases in the city.” Meanwhile, many cab drivers are deferring service since they are not getting adequate income. Karnataka State Travel Operators Association president K Radhakrishna Holla said: “We’re getting calls and mails from different distributors for periodic vehicle service. We’re not running our vehicles because of poor business, so we’ll give them for service only when the demand goes up.” Tanveer Pasha, leader of an app-based cab drivers’ union, said: “When drivers don’t have money to fill diesel, how will they give their vehicles for service? We’re getting calls, but none is going.” Many service centres are making desperate calls to customers, particularly to car owners. Ramesh K, a Honda vehicle owner, said: “I’ve been getting repeated calls from my dealer for the past few weeks to get my vehicle serviced. They were saying less people are now opting for the service.” However, Shyamsaidthey are not inconveniencing customers. “It’s important to do vehicle service on time. Many vehicles are lying idle for several months and so, there could be several issues with battery, tyre and engine,” he said. An executive at a Royal Enfield service station, said: “Earlier, we used to get 40 vehicles a day, but it has now reduced to 10.” Sameer Chaudhry of Trident Hyundai said: “Vehicle sales and service demand are getting back to normal. Hyundai cars are not much in the taxi segment, so the impact was less. Most cars have a warranty of 5-6 years, so they have to come for service even if they don’t use it. Most of the WFH people are techies, who used to travel in company buses. Passenger cars coming to the service stations have now increased.” “Service work is profitable for dealers, especially when the vehicle sales remain sluggish,” an automobile expert said. A majority of the complaints are related to car batteries, brakes, lights and wires bitten by rats. Also, tyres of many vehicles parked in public parking places have gone flat.