Bengaluru-based electric mobility brand Ather Energy has resumed operations in its Bengaluru R&D centre, as well as the showrooms (or experience centres) in Chennai as well as its home base of Bengaluru. However, with the Covid-19 pandemic just marginally reduced in its impact, the brand is undertaking all possible precautions, including sanitisation of the workspace and the use of masks, gloves and sanitisers by the service professionals and staff. Along with all this, employees will also practice social distancing for a safe transition back to functional business processes. The move comes after the government in both the cities announced a relaxation for two-wheeler & four-wheeler showrooms, service centres, and firms dealing in automobile spare parts.
Currently, the experience centres will be stay open for limited hours and will operate with limited staff onsite to comply with mandatory health and safety guidelines. Additionally, deliveries of the Ather 450 have begun in a limited capacity in both cities and will scale up depending on resumption of operations of other ancillary partners, and permissions for the interstate transport of vehicles.
Further, to address the economic impact of the lockdown, Ather is open to experimenting with ideas like increasing the financing options available to consumers and introducing batteries on subscription. Ather was, notably, the first OEM to introduce lease plans for two-wheelers in India and a unique, zero-hassle post-purchase plan, called Ather One, limiting the cost of ownership and usage to Rs 700 per month.
This year Ather will be available in eight new cities (Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Kolkata) with their 450X flagship model.
Speaking on the brand’s post-lockdown stategy and country-wide diversification plans, Ravneet Phokela, Chief Business Officer, Ather Energy, said, “We are slowly opening up our retail stores and offices and are hoping for some semblance of normalcy in the coming months. We have a lot of work ahead of us to expand pan-India over the coming months, and thankfully, the lockdown has not affected those timelines dramatically. We are now working on a slightly revised timeline of Q4 of 2020 to begin deliveries of the Ather 450X across India.”