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Dealer COVID19 Communications - Are Dealers Essential Businesses in your state?

Jeff Kershner

Founder
May 1, 2005
3,643
1,234
113
Maryland
First Name
Jeff
The last 24 hours have been a bit crazy. Maryland Governor Hogan yesterday morning announced that ALL Business that were not essential were to close by 5pm Monday. At that time, the sales department was not considered essential. Most dealers quickly made the move to layoff much of their sales force while deciding to run a limited crew in service. And then this morning, MADA released an Amended Interpretation of Essential Business and announced that ALL dealer departments could remain open.

Talk about a shit show for dealers!!
So many jobs lost in such a short period with many being called back the very next morning.

How has your dealer communicated to employees under these circumstances?

The state of Maryland hasn't made it too easy. Governor Hogan's Office of Law has amended and restated the interpretation of businesses allowed to be open to the public. It is included for reference.


MADA_Amended.jpg
 
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Jeff Kershner

Founder
May 1, 2005
3,643
1,234
113
Maryland
First Name
Jeff
The leaders of five groups representing vehicle dealers sent a letter to Pres. Donald Trump on Tuesday asking him to include sales and leasing as essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter was signed by the heads of the National Automobile Dealers Association, American Truck Dealers, National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers, American International Dealers Association and the Alliance for Automotive Innovation.

Dealers Ask Trump To Deem Sales Essential During COVID-19 Crisis

 

Alexander Lau

Sr. Refresher
Feb 11, 2015
2,276
661
113
Mars, PA
First Name
Alex
There's a growing list here: https://www.autonews.com/dealers/dealer-confusion-grows-more-states-issue-stay-home-orders

All of my clients in PA are shut down (sales floors): https://www.autonews.com/dealers/ny-pa-showrooms-close-service-bays-open-more-states-face-crisis

Dealerships Across Pennsylvania (as of March 19)

Governor Orders Dealership Sales Operations to Cease at 8 p.m. Service, Repair, and Parts may remain open.

On March 19, 2020, Governor Wolf announced that all non-life sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania are to close their physical locations beginning at 8 pm on March 19, 2020 to slow the spread of the Coronavirus. This new announcement supersedes the prior designation of essential/non-essential businesses.

A detailed list of business that “may/may not continue physical operation” was provided and is available at:

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6815335-20200319-Life-Sustaining-Business.html#document/p1

Are Dealerships a non-life sustaining business?

At this time:

Service/Body Shop/Parts -- Automotive Repair/Maintenance as well as Parts are listed as “May Continue Physical Operations” (page 5).

Sales -- Automobile dealers/other Motor Vehicle Dealers are listed as may not continue physical operations (page 3). We are looking to get further clarification regarding internet sales and delivery.

For truck dealers -- transportation, service, and parts is still permissible. Sales may not continue physical operations (page 3).


The Governor’s Office has stated that Enforcement Actions for Non-Compliance will Begin at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, March 21. Failure to comply with these requirements will result in enforcement action that could include citations, fines, or license suspensions.

PAA is working with the Governor’s administration and the General Assembly to advocate the necessity of permitting motor vehicle sales at a dealership at this time to support the communities’ needs. Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.

If you have any questions, please contact PAA.
 
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georgenenni

Refresher
Apr 13, 2012
107
76
28
Middletown Ohio
First Name
George
Hey folks, hope all are well. Crazy times for sure. Dealership sales operations must be considered essential business to keep doctors, nurses, fire fighters, grocery workers, you name it, on the road!
 
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joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
4,002
1,527
113
New York
First Name
Joe
Automotive Sales is Essential. Please SIGN THIS PETITION then share this ASAP.

This is part of a GIANT ATTACK on Washington DC that we need to hit from all sides!
Thnx!
 

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
4,002
1,527
113
New York
First Name
Joe
NO ESSENTIAL WORKER WORKS FROM HOME.
IMO, there is NO WAY that car sales are non-essential.

Imagine: Single income, kids at home, stable job, high mile car & the check engine lite pops on. "What now!" says our Essential worker. Svc dept finds $900 at a min, $2,300 to do it right. Our essential worker is trapped! OEMs are rolling out 84mo 0% and she's mad as a hornet!

The list of Essential workers is many pages deep.

The workers below belong to Food & Agriculture only.

FOOD AND AGRICULTURE
  • Workers supporting groceries, pharmacies, convenience stores and other retail that sells human food, animal/pet food, and beverage products
  • Restaurant carry-out and quick serve food operations - Carry-out and delivery food employees
  • Food manufacturer employees and their supplier employees—to include those employed in food processing (packers, meat processing, cheese plants, milk plants, produce, etc.) facilities; livestock, poultry, seafood slaughter facilities; pet and animal feed processing facilities; human food facilities producing by-products for animal food; beverage production facilities; and the production of food packaging
  • Farm workers to include those employed in animal food, feed, and ingredient production, packaging, and distribution; manufacturing, packaging, and distribution of veterinary drugs; truck delivery and transport; farm and fishery labor needed to produce our food supply domestically
  • Farm workers and support service workers to include those who field crops; commodity inspection; fuel ethanol facilities; storage facilities; and other agricultural inputs
  • Employees and firms supporting food, feed, and beverage distribution, including warehouse workers, vendor-managed inventory controllers and blockchain managers
  • Workers supporting the sanitation of all food manufacturing processes and operations from wholesale to retail
  • Company cafeterias - in-plant cafeterias used to feed employees
  • Workers in food testing labs in private industries and in institutions of higher education
  • Workers essential for assistance programs and government payments
  • Employees of companies engaged in the production, storage, transport, and distribution of chemicals, medicines, vaccines, and other substances used by the food and agriculture industry, including pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, minerals, enrichments, and other agricultural production aids
  • Animal agriculture workers to include those employed in veterinary health; manufacturing and distribution of animal medical materials, animal vaccines, animal drugs, feed ingredients, feed, and bedding, etc.; transportation of live animals, animal medical materials; transportation of deceased animals for disposal; raising of animals for food; animal production operations; slaughter and packing plants, renderers, and associated regulatory and government workforce
  • Workers who support the manufacture and distribution of forest products, including, but not limited to timber, paper, and other wood products
  • Employees engaged in the manufacture and maintenance of equipment and other infrastructure necessary to agricultural production and distribution
 
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Alexander Lau

Sr. Refresher
Feb 11, 2015
2,276
661
113
Mars, PA
First Name
Alex

Virtually all of Group 1's U.S. dealerships are located in markets operating in some type of "shelter in place" or restricted travel environments in accordance with applicable state and local orders. Dealership service facilities remain open to provide essential services to customers. No Group 1 U.S. dealership is completely closed. Overall, service activity levels have decreased due to the reduced number of vehicles on the road caused by government restrictions, or our customers' concerns related to the virus.

While dealership sales departments have closed in some jurisdictions, in most cases, they are permitted to continue to operate, though with a dramatically reduced staff level. The Company's online selling platform Acceleride® continues to show increased utilization rates which are likely to continue in a restricted human travel environment.

Beginning on March 6, 2020, overall U.S. vehicle sales volumes began to significantly decrease, and they are currently down 50-70 percent from normal expected March volumes. Based on discussions with our OEM partners, this sales decline is consistent with that experienced by other dealers.
 
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