Dealers need to plan in case of coronavirus second wave, warns online retail specialist

Time 11:40 am, June 15, 2020

Dealers need to have a second-wave plan in case of a major re-emergence of coronavirus this year.

That’s according to James Tew, chief executive at online motor retail technology specialist iVendi, who said further peaks were a very real prospect so businesses had to think ahead about how they might operate if the lockdown was renewed.

‘At the moment, dealers are understandably working very hard to get their businesses moving again after the events of the last few months, but we’ve all seen the warnings from experts of the likelihood of a second wave – something that is perhaps already happening in countries like South Korea and Iran.

‘Of course, the hope is that this does not happen in the UK, but many clearly believe that it will and, given that very real possibility, it seems sensible that businesses have some kind of idea about how they might handle a further lockdown.

‘This is difficult, of course, because we don’t know what any second wave might look like, but there are a variety of scenarios that could emerge and it makes sense for managers to run through what they might do in each. To us, preparation seems important – it may even be that we have a number of waves over the next few years.

‘Clearly, there was little the industry could do in response to the first wave of coronavirus – it took us very much by surprise – but there are few excuses for not being more cognisant of any future occurrences.’

He added that one government idea was that future lockdowns may only be localised, where the infection rate was high.

‘The central question dealers probably need to answer is, “How would we keep trading as effectively as possible in this variety of circumstances?”

‘Certainly, we would advise all dealers as a minimum to ensure that they now have a click-and-collect option in place.

‘The motor industry has shown a high degree of resilience and adaptability in response to the coronavirus crisis so far. It is very possible that it may need to show more of those qualities to face further peaks of the disease.’

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John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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