A sign of how the company is considering the many thousands of Kawasaki owners across Europe is the announcement that for new and existing motorcycle, JetSki personal watercraft and MULE/ATV warranties (excluding business use), the company is extending the period of each warranty to mitigate for the fact that owners cannot use their machines at this time. Covering the standard manufacturer warranty, the warranty lifetime will now be extended initially for a period covering the “lock down” of the major European market territories which will be reviewed pending possible further extensions as the situation evolves.
Commenting, Hans Sipkema, Deputy Senior Manager of KME's Technical Service Department explained the company's approach to the current challenging situation.
“Many Kawasaki owners in Europe are now in a position whereby they cannot use their machine, or have very restricted use. Together with Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd, we wanted to extend the peace of mind period covered by the warranty so that when things return to normal owners have not been deprived of the overall warranty benefit through no fault of ours or their own. To start with we will automatically extend all applicable warranties during the period of the “lock down” and then review this in future to decide if further extensions are applicable. Naturally for products that are currently being used commercially – such as in farming - the warranty period remains unchanged”.
And with commerce in mind, Kawasaki Motors Europe is still very active with all areas of the business adapting to the changing environment and many staff working from home. Areas such as shipping and spare parts continue to function physically with strict hygiene and distancing measures in place in anticipation of a return to normal operations in future, as Dick van Honk, Manager of KME's Logistics Section explains.
“We are still picking parts orders in the warehouse according to the recommended social distancing and health guidelines as well as dealing with parts returns from various dealers and locations. New motorcycles and other stock are still arriving from Japan and our aim is to operate at this level for the foreseeable future. We will be ready to return to maximum capacity as soon as restrictions are lifted and it is safe to do so.”
With customer support being offered as normal by Kawasaki branch technical teams via web and phone, many dealers are currently not open for business. However, both customer and technical support continues including planning for new models as explained by Dale Lockyear Manager of the Technical Information Section “While many staff work from home we are in regular contact and working on new model training for dealer staff and information updates. Rest assured the flow of information continues even at these difficult times and customers can be sure that dealers will have the latest specs and information ready for when they reopen for sales and servicing in future”.
So, whilst the situation continues to change almost daily, there is a welcome reassurance that strategic planning and customer focussed initiatives are being put in place by Kawasaki. And when the pandemic is under control and restrictions are lifted, fans can be assured that Kawasaki will continue to be judged by its forward thinking performance.