ARLINGTON, Texas –
Digital retailing and vehicle deliveries in driveways certainly have gained momentum during the coronavirus pandemic. But no doubt, plenty of potential buyers remain who still want to complete their purchase at the store.
To help owners and managers, the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association compiled a guide to operating an independent vehicle dealership in the era of COVID-19.
The association highlighted the Independent Dealer’s Guide for Safely Operating During COVID-19 contains guidelines, best practices, policies and procedures gathered from government agencies as well as independent dealers across the nation.
“As the automotive industry continues serving its communities in a post-COVID-19 environment, protecting the health and safety of the driving public is the highest level of priority,” NIADA chief executive officer Steve Jordan said in a news release that accompanied the guide’s availability on Friday.
“We are proud to offer this important guide to the dealer community as a set of recommended guidelines to assist in their ongoing efforts,” Jordan continued.
NIADA insisted the guide is a tool to help dealers plan carefully and understand what changes they might need to make in their businesses to take advantage of post-pandemic opportunities while protecting the health and safety of their customers, employees and vendors.
Some of the highlights include:
• General considerations for creating a safe workplace, such as establishing a written plan and conducting daily health checks of employees.
• Best practices for policies regarding social distancing within the dealership, and cleaning and disinfecting in the showroom and in vehicles.
• Handling interactions with customers, including test drives, sales and financing, service department operations and collections.
NIADA said the guide contains information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the California Department of Public Health and other agencies.
The association noted special appreciation goes to NIADA senior vice president of legal and government affairs Shaun Petersen for spearheading the effort to work with the organization’s dealer community, as well as NIADA’s ad hoc committee and the NIADA board of directors for their work in developing these guidelines.
The guide is available on NIADA’s COVID-19 resource page at covid19.niada.com.