In the wake of floods in the state of Kerala, German automaker Mercedes-Benz has announced a voluntary contribution of ₹ 30 lakh towards the relief fund. The automaker has announced it will be making a contribution of ₹ 25 lakh towards the Chief Minister's National Relief Fund, while the dealer partners of Mercedes-Benz India will come together to contribute an additional ₹ 5 lakh towards the fund to support the flood relief work. Apart from Mercedes-Benz, TVS Motor Company has announced to contribute ₹ 1 crore towards the flood relief work, while Volkswagen has said that it will offer extended support and services for vehicles affected by the untimely floods in Kerala.
Speaking about the initiative, Mercedes-Benz India, Managing Director & CEO, Roland Folger said, "It is a moment of grief as the unprecedented floods in Kerala has led to sudden loss of lives and property. Mercedes-Benz stands with the authorities at this moment of crisis and wants to contribute to the relief works as a responsible corporate citizen and support the authorities in its own small way. Towards this, Mercedes-Benz India and its dealer partners are voluntarily contributing ₹ 30 lakhs collectively to the CM Relief Fund to support the relief activities. We sincerely hope the situation normalises soon. Also, as a customer oriented brand, we want to support our customers and our dealer partners in Kochi, Thrissur, Trivandrum and Calicut immediately in the areas pertaining to customer service. This support would entail undertaking essential repairs like replacement of parts, service and also insurance claims. It remains our key priority now to get the affected vehicles back on the road, at the earliest and bring some relief to our patrons. Towards this, a cross-functional task force has already been formed at Mercedes-Benz India, who are working at a literal war footing towards ensuring that we take care of the customers' needs towards their vehicles, when they need it the most."
Apart from the contribution, Mercedes-Benz India has prepared a cross-functional task force comprising customer service teams to support those customers whose vehicles have been damaged. The cross-functional team is currently assessing the impact and preparing a contingency action plan, short to long-term in nature, as per the company.
Mercedes-Benz is also working with partner Allianz Global for recovering the affected vehicles and the retail work teams have committed additional manpower to support the customers. The dealers in Kerala have offered to absorb the towing charges for cars recovered Allianz Global. Technical experts from other states have also been deployed to Kerala to reduce the lead time and initiate faster repair of vehicles affected by the floods.
The initiative will also see faster processing of insurance formalities by Daimler Financial Services. The insurance amount though will vary depending on the extent of damage to the car, engine damage and policy purchased by the customer.
Furthermore, Mercedes-Benz will procure parts via air from Germany and Singapore, and will not pass the shipping charges to customers. Dealer partners have announced that they will not celebrate Onam this year in solidarity with the people of Kerala.