The latest government guidance on car sales under lockdown has caused further confusion, but MD of Renault Groupe UK Vincent Tourette hopes that guidance later today will reveal that click and collect is possible.
The dealer group has been preparing to reopen and was ready to do so from today.
‘My interpretation is that based on the fact people can leave their home and circulate, that should at least give us the option to run click and collect if the showrooms have to remain closed,’ Tourette said on Car Dealer Live today.
He explained: ‘Our preference will be to open part of the showroom for handovers. I don’t see why doing it would be less safe than delivering cars on the street at people’s homes.’
He and network operations director Louise O’Sullivan appeared on the show to explain the changes they had been implicating and some of the work that still needs to be done.
‘The fact there’s no alignment in the UK will be difficult to manage between our dealers in Northern lreland, Scotland, Wales and England,’ he added. ‘But I took it as a positive signal, even though I would have preferred something clearer and from now.
‘We will adapt to whatever we have to. Safety remains a key priority for our staff and dealers.’
O’Sullivan explained how it had been challenging to manage with so many people on furlough at dealerships but that their dealer partners have been bringing people back in waves to prepare the sites. ‘They’re preparing and will react as we will. I’ve been very impressed with the way they’ve managed the situation,’ she said.
Groupe Renault has been proactive across Europe in providing a PPE pack that car dealers can buy direct from them at cost. She explained how their learnings from other markets who were hit first by the virus have allowed them to hone this
She said: ‘Our process has four steps, gloves, masks, disinfectant and hydrochloric gels. That’s the pack we have offered and agreed on a European level, and we will supply it at cost if they wish to have it.
‘Obviously those things are in high demand and many have sorted their own, but over half our dealers have sourced from us. The first wave went out today.’
Although the dealers were prepared to reopen today, O’Sullivan explained that she was in two minds about when this would happen.
‘For a showroom environment handover, I think probably we’re looking at June,’ she said. ‘I think if it’s in terms of a separate collection, that’s probably what we would favour as an industry and would at least get the cars to those customers with outstanding orders with us, then maybe that will come sooner but we have to obviously wait.
‘In terms of order take for the future and new customers, unless it’s online, I think we’re going to be waiting another three weeks but I hope fulfilment might come a bit earlier to aid the cashflow for the network.’
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Coming up this week on Car Dealer Live we also have:
- Tuesday: Wessex Garages MD Chris Wiseman
- Wednesday: Mike Allen, analyst at Zeus Capital
- Thursday: Sherwoods Motor Group MD Simon MacConachie
- Friday: The team from GForces to guide us on all things online sales.
If you have any questions you’d like to ask any of the above you can submit them live during the broadcasts or you can send them to us via this website, or our social media channels including Twitter and LinkedIn.