Aftermarket firms stay afloat in the 'new normal'

Vehicles along EDSA

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) deferred the lifting of the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) status in Metro Manila.

Based on Resolution 137 issued on September 7 — a day after the supposed lifting of the quarantine status to general community quarantine level that will coincide with the pilot implementation of granular lockdown — government extended the MECQ period until September 15.

The recent announcement of the government was issued as part of the proactive measures "to slow down the surge in COVID-19 cases, stop the spread of variants, buy time for the health system to cope and protect more lives.”

IATF-MEID Resolution 137

However, many companies were surprised as both seasoned and budding entrepreneurs are readying for commerce once again once the lockdown levels permitted them to open brick-and-mortar shops.

Members of the local aftermarket industry were anticipating the reopening but the recent pronouncement continued to push them to innovate to further address the challenges posed by the pandemic.

Here are some of the aftermarket company’s respective moves to thrive in the new normal.

Concept One Wheels Philippines

Wheel Gallery President and Chief Executive Officer Samuel Liuson said that to reduce the impact of impact of limited mobility, the company focused on “work from home set-up and online selling, and coordinating deliveries or setting appointments with customers”.

He also asked the government to immediately come up with measures that would benefit all stakeholders.

“I think the government will have to come up with more sound and decisive measures and not flip-flop in their pronouncements so that businesses can plan accordingly. The key is to strike up a balance and also learn best practices from other countries and strictly implement them,” he told Carmudi Philippines.

ACDelco Philippines

Meanwhile, ACDelco Philippines President Dicken Wong said that the company somehow mitigated the full effect of the pandemic after it has expanded its business in the digital realm. 

“Almost all brands related to the automotive industry were affected; that we believe is a fact. It was during the earlier stage of the pandemic that greatly hit and disrupted our operations. However, ACDelco was already undergoing a digital transformation prior to COVID-19 and this somehow deflated the impact while allowing the brand to quickly adapt to setting up new and more relevant revenue streams by shifting to digital sales and distribution,” he said.

“Now, more and more partners enjoy quicker deliveries and service with a more efficient order system in place. It also equipped the brand to quickly communicate with channels down to its customers,” Wong shared.

Cleanfuel

Lastly, Cleanfuel Group of Companies President and Chief Executive Officer Atty. Jesus Suntay said that “the imposition of lockdown means that mobility is restricted, which translates to less vehicles on the road.” The slowdown of movement, Suntay noted, “yields to lower fuel sales.”

Suntay said that to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, they have “cut down on unnecessary expenditures, streamline our manpower allocation, ensure that we are able to purchase the fuel that we sell locally from both the international market and locally at the best price possible so that we can provide the lowest price possible to our customers.” 

“We also strive harder to provide better service to the motoring public, so that we would be on their top of mind whenever they have fuel needs,” Suntay concluded.

Photos from Ruben D. Manahan IV, Presidential Communications Operations Office, Concept One Wheels Philippines, ACDelco Philippines, Cleanfuel

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