Car dealers reopening on June 1 would help solve the economic crisis facing the UK – that’s the message from the boss of Groupe PSA Alison Jones.
In an exclusive video interview with Car Dealer Magazine – a clip of which you can see above – Jones said Groupe PSA dealers are busy preparing to restart on June 1.
‘I told my team this morning we’re not preparing for the restart, we’ve restarted,’ she said, referring to the news click and collect services can be run from this week.
Dealers in England are pencilling in June 1 as the day they will be allowed to start work in line with the government’s guidelines for easing the lockdown.
However, that date has not yet been confirmed and assumes that the government includes car showrooms in the first wave of non-essential retail allowed to resume.
In the devolved nations there is still no news on reopening and even click and collect isn’t allowed.
Asked if she was 100 per cent convinced her dealers – which represent Peugeot, Vauxhall, Citroen and DS – would be open on June 1 in England, she said: ‘I think our dealers will be and we are getting ready.
‘I think there is an economic need. We recognise the health crisis, obviously, but there is an economic crisis.’
Jones – who was appointed group managing director last April – said she had been working closely with dealers throughout the lockdown to keep some aftersales sites open for key workers and planning on how car dealers can reopen.
She said: ‘We had home delivery, we’ve now got click and collect that has just come through – but we have to get our businesses working again so, yes, I believe they will be [open on June 1].’
Jones revealed she and other automotive industry leaders had been putting pressure on the government to explain why it was ‘really important’ for dealers to reopen.
And she agreed that the ambiguity around whether dealers will be allowed to open on June 1 wasn’t helpful.
She added: ‘We have gone to great lengths to demonstrate we are ready and have safe environments. If you compare us to the housing market or garden centres, then showrooms can absolutely be made safe with all of the protocols that have been spoken about in the automotive press.
‘That’s what we are explaining to government and explaining we are an important contributor to the economic situation of our country.’
Jones was speaking exclusively to Car Dealer Magazine and the full interview will be published on this website later this week. Join our WhatsApp group and daily email to get notifications of when it goes live.
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