Mahindra and Mahindra (M&M), one of India’s leading automakers, announced on May 13 a series of initiatives including financial aid and health insurance to support its dealer partners during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
While most leading automobile companies have undertaken a series of steps to safeguard their employees and workers, M&M is the first automaker to extend such benefits to permanent employees at its dealerships too.
In a letter to dealer partners, M&M said it will provide a vaccination reimbursement of up to Rs 1, 500 per person for all dealer manpower, applicable till March 2022. Mahindra & Mahindra has about 450 commercial and passenger vehicle dealerships across the country, with more than four times as many touchpoints.
The Indian multinational automobile major said it will also provide one year of medical insurance of Rs 1 lakh for COVID-19 treatment for the dealer employees, which would include a home quarantine assistance of up to Rs 10,000.
In addition, in case of the demise of an associate due to COVID-19, the automaker major will pay a sum of Rs 2.5 lakh to the deceased employee’s family.
The company said an equal amount shall also be contributed by the dealer to render financial help to the family. The policy will be applicable till August 2021.
Mahindra & Mahindra had earlier announced it was going to bear the cost of inoculation for its employees and their families. The company has close to 80,000 manpower across its PV, CV and tractor dealerships.
Auto dealers in most states are currently not allowed to open showrooms, but some are taking the initiative to vaccinate their employees at this time to ensure a safe return to work once customers walk into showrooms again.
“The move by M&M to reach out to channel partner’s employees is definitely the first from any vehicle manufacturer. It goes far beyond just commercials. It is about humanity,” Nikunj Sanghi, managing director of JS Fourwheels Motors said. Sanghi’s Mahindra dealership is the largest in the Alwar region and directly employs over 300 employees.
Automakers, both domestic and international, have been supporting the fight against COVID-19 in India by way of donations towards relief efforts and providing policy support for employees.
Most manufacturers have been taking prolonged plant shutdowns, including Hero MotoCorp, M&M, and Maruti Suzuki, whereas some like Tata Motors have been scaling down production consistently to keep workers protected while catering to the muted demand in the market.