Forum: How dealers are coping in the crisis

Time 12:30 pm, March 19, 2020

THE Car Dealer Magazine forum has come into its own as the coronavirus crisis has been unfolding – with readers sharing stories and ideas about the best way to cope in the current situation.

It goes without saying that there’s a certain amount of dark humour in some of the comments – but as the old saying goes, if we didn’t laugh, we’d cry.

The twin challenges seem to be the need to make sure everyone is safe and healthy whilst also keeping businesses moving forward.

Here are a few of your thoughts and experiences related to the Covid-19 outbreak.

Mark TVS wrote: ‘We are offering free delivery within 50 miles for customers apprehensive about leaving the house, reassuring them that all our cars are fully valeted and sanitised. Prior to delivery, they will receive a video call showing them every little blemish or stone chip etc so they can be assured of the product they will receive.’

Forum member ‘New year revolutions’ said: ‘I’ve stopped all test drives full stop. I’ve also stopped MOT-ing anything. I’m seeing what happens on Friday or earlier.’

Mark101 said he had added a company statement to all of his adverts which reads: ‘We have taken the decision to suspend any and ALL casual viewings of vehicles in order to protect staff, customers and suppliers against any unnecessary and potential exposure to Covid-19 (coronavirus).

Sensible measures

‘Until further notice, staff will only be in attendance to hand over vehicles that have already been sold or for people who have made a commitment to buy a vehicle from the description and pictures on our website by means of a non-refundable deposit.

‘We are sorry for the inconvenience this may cause but we feel as a responsible company and employer, these are sensible safety measures to help limit the spread of coronavirus. Thank you for your co-operation and understanding.’

Mojo121 said car dealers should operate on a ‘business as usual’ basis, adding: ‘Take your precautions – no handshakes, use antibac spray, wipe desks, but don’t go changing the formula.’

Forum member ‘poor-trader’ said: ‘I think it’s pretty obvious where we are heading. Any dealer who isn’t prepared to be shut down for one to two months has their head in the sand a little bit I think.’

‘Daz’, posting from Ireland, commented: ‘Sales seem to have come to a complete halt here. The phone has not rung once in over a week.

‘I’ve tried price drops and extra advertising but I guess everyone is afraid of spending their pennies until they know they have a stable income and job to go back to. I will most likely spend some time doing up my pitch and maybe taking care of some weeds and painting the place.’

He concluded: ‘It will be summer before this all passes and that’s not exactly a busy time of year anyway. A sincere good luck to all involved within the industry.’

MORE: Join the debate on the Car Dealer Magazine forum

MORE: Coronavirus: Auto Trader acts on fees as it predicts multi-million-pound loss for April

MORE: Manheim to close auction halls in response to coronavirus



Dave Brown's avatar

Dave, production editor on Car Dealer Magazine, is a journalist with more than 30 years' experience in the worlds of newspapers, magazines and public relations.

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