The COVID-19 outbreak created an unprecedented environment for the country, our company, both locally and globally, and for us as employers and employees. It also prompted an urgent reaction from the leadership team at Mercedes-Benz South Africa to safeguard the health, safety and wellbeing of our employees, business partners, communities and customers.
Even preceding the declaration of the nation-wide lockdown, a key priority for management was to inhibit infections amongst our workforce, which led us to lead the charge in work-from-home arrangements. These continue to stay in place in order to inhibit further chains of infection and maintain social and physical distancing.
As a leader in the premium market, our goal is to offer our customers fascinating products and customized solutions for needs-oriented, safe and sustainable mobility. We remained steadfast in this endeavour whilst ensuring their health and safety.
We also had the responsibility to stay loyal to our customer base, some of whom were healthcare practitioners, in order to aid the national response to the crisis. Customer Services developed measures to support our loyal customers, and we believe that these solutions helped to tighten our bonds with our customers.
Throughout the crisis, we ensured that all back-end and online systems functioned optimally to support staff, Agents and suppliers, in order to ensure that our customers' needs were met. We continued to sell cars through our virtual on-line showroom to maintain marketing and sales momentum, and also support the Agent network in accordance to government regulations.
The economic and financial impacts of the lockdown are well known. Our priority was to develop a financial strategy that focused on cash management in order to manage liquidity, preserve and manage cash flow. Simultaneously, we strengthened our IT infrastructure to support the unprecedented number of our employees working remotely.
We are acutely aware of the important role we play in society, from our beneficiary schools to the communities we serve. Through our structures and partnerships, we embarked on drives to raise funds in partnership with Laureus Sports for Good Foundation, make Personal Protective Equipment available, especially to healthcare practioners and provide transport to organisations involved in food distribution.
With the easing of COVID-19 restrictions to Alert Level 2, we caution against complacency across our operations. We know that COVID-19 likes nothing more than a lowered guard. There is still no known vaccine or cure for COVID-19 and as such, we must remain vigilant against the spread of infection.
During this time, our intention is to seize every opportunity to continue to stabilise and grow our business. We believe this will lend us in good stead when the economy and consumer confidence return normalcy. It is unclear when we will return to normalcy again. However, as Mercedes-Benz Cars, we are optimistic about the future and I believe that if we all act with haste and decisiveness we will be well equipped to handle whatever may come next.
Thank you for your ongoing loyalty and support.
Stay healthy and safe.
Co-CEO Mercedes-Benz South Africa & Executive Director Mercedes-Benz Cars