Coronavirus impact: How car makers are promoting social distancing

Team OD Updated: March 26, 2020, 01:38 PM IST

Carmakers worldwide have been heavily hit by the COVID-19 pandemic with facilities being shut and sales dipping to new lows. Many carmakers have taken decided to step up to the challenge and begun using their unused capacity to manufacture essentials like ventilators, face masks and other healthcare equipment.

With an estimated 3 billion people globally now under stay-at-home orders to check the coronavirus pandemic, carmakers have also started doing their bit to raise awareness about the importance of social  distancing.


Luxury carmaker Audi and parent Volkswagen have taken a unique step to to spread this message. They've change their brand logos, at least temporarily.

The Audi logo's four rings don't intertwine anymore, and are now four separate elements with a gap between them. For perspective, the four rings in the Audi logo represent the four pre-war car makers that combined to form Auto Union, the firm that eventually took the Audi name in the 1960s. These were Audi, DKW, Horch, and Wanderer.


The Volkswagen logo recently took on a two-dimensional, more electronic media friendly look recently, and the car maker has now spaced out the V and W within the circular border. Every since the first version of this signage in 1937, the brand's logo has centered around the vertically stacked lettering, with this being the only major deviation seen.


French carmaker Citroen is another one to play on its logo in its message to people asking them to stay at home. The graphic shows the double stacked chevrons in the logo moving away from each other. The chevrons depict a set of helical gear teeth, in homage to founder Andre Citroen's first venture where he manufactured these gears to be used in milling.


The Bavarian luxury car-maker's messaging shows an i8 hybrid sports car in what looks like a BMW museum. The brand's past greats like the Isetta micro-car and race-preppered versions of the first-gen E30 M3, including one from late 80s DTM racing


FCA is controlled by Exor, the investment firm of the Agnelli family. The Agnelli family are the founders of Fiat and also own a controlling stake in Ferrari. Consequently, their message is a sombre reminder of what can happen if such extreme isolation measures aren't put in place at the right time. The effects of which the brand's home country, Italy, is suffering at the moment, and one which the company hopes will make the country come out stronger than ever.


The supercar maker's message is quite a departure from the manic cars it makes. They're simply asking you to take a step back and spend time at home doing the things you like with your loved ones.


Ferrari's message is again sombre and is a an abstarct depiction of the brand's proun\d Italian heritage. Seen is the Ferrari factory in Maranello, lit up in the colours of the Italian flag in homage to the losses faced due to this pandemic


In a similar vein to the brand's no-nonsense approch to engineering excellence, Porsche has a simple and throughful message to everyone. The brand asks you to keep your dreams alive as afr away as they may seem right now, but do what it takes right now to make sure you and your relations are still around to fulfill these dreams.


Bentley asks you to stick together as one team right now. Depicting this is the full line-up of cars it sells like the Continental GT coupe and convertible, the Flying Spur sedan and the Bentayga SUV. Leading the pack is a specially prepared Continental GT that raced at the 2020 GP Ice Race in Zell am See in Austria in February.


Toyota's image is slowly changing from a maker of practical, econoboxes to one with a stylish and spotrier edge. In keeping with this, the Japanese carmaker asks you to stay home via a kaleidoscopic effect of its new Yaris hatchback and its light trails while doing the rounds of an empty urban district,

Tata Motors

Indian carmakers aren't behind in spreading this social message either. It asks adventure oriented buyers of its SUV line-up to stay at home for now and care for their family, so that the adventures don't stop when things get better.