AS the coronavirus crisis tightens its grip on the UK, car dealers are having to do their utmost to ensure the health and safety of their staff and customers – while also attempting to sell and service cars.
Dealer groups around the country are taking different approaches to deal with the issue.
Hampshire-based Imperial Cars is reminding customers of its ‘Click, Call, Collect/Delivery’ car buying service, as well as introducing extra health and safety measures in its 17 showrooms.
‘Click, Call, Collect/Delivery’ allows customers to test-drive cars from their own home and have their purchase delivered to their door.
Imperial is also introducing extra safety measures at its showrooms. Additional soap and hand sanitisers have been installed, all cars are disinfected after every test drive and staff won’t greet customers with a handshake.
Neil Smith, operations director, said: ‘We are seeking to mitigate all unnecessary personal contact in line with government guidelines. All sales teams who interact with customers will be health-checked daily, and if they show any signs of ill health, they will not be in contact with customers.’
Redline Cars, based in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, has reassured customers that it is taking steps to safeguard customers’ health as well as that of its staff and suppliers.
The business has published a plan online which includes a series of steps they are taking to keep everyone safe whilst also keeping the business moving.
Staff are briefed regularly on the coronavirus situation as well as any new procedures the company implements to protect colleagues and customers. Doors, desks and phones will all be cleaned more frequently.
Anti-bacterial hand sanitiser is being made available to staff and customers and the company has put in place a ‘no-handshake’ policy for everyone’s protection.
With soccer matches having been kicked into touch, Chorley Group, which has six key dealerships and four franchises in the north-west of England, took to Twitter to lighten the mood by replacing its fantasy football league with a staff temperature league – as in colleagues’ attractiveness rating!
— Chorley Group (@Chorley_Group) March 17, 2020
But there was also a reassuring message to clients and suppliers delivered via Facebook:
The Ford-owned dealer network Trust Ford said all its sites were remaining open and welcoming customers. It added that business continuity plans were in place covering any future developments and said customers had been given reassurances via various communication channels. These included extra wiping with anti-bacterial sanitiser of touch points such as the steering wheel, indicator and wiper stalks, gear lever and door handles before handover, on top of its ‘usual rigorous product and workshop cleaning processes’.
In addition, it was now offering collection and delivery for Motability customers where possible.
Lookers, meanwhile, was understood to have plans in place for its dealership sites and to be closely monitoring things so that it can adapt to the fast-changing situation.
What is your dealership doing to get through the crisis? Let the Car Dealer team know on (023) 9252 2434.