It’s the news that the motor industry has been gasping for. It’s been almost 70 days since our showrooms were forced to close on the 23rd of March as the country prepared itself for the seemingly unrelenting spread of the Coronavirus. The industry has been strangled in the meantime with new car sales virtually halted, but it looks like fresh air is just around the corner, as the Prime Minister has announced that car dealerships can reopen from the 1st of June.
The news was delivered to the nation by Boris Johnson on Monday the 25th of May, 3 days after the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders announced that the lockdown is costing the government £61million per day in lost tax revenue from car showrooms.
In April, SMMT also announced that the lockdown had already incurred an £8.2billion hit on the car manufacturing industry as production halted and new car sales plummeted to the lowest figures recorded since the Second World War.
Sue Robinson, National Franchised Dealers Association director, said: “NFDA has worked closely with SMMT to produce guidelines for retailers in line with the Government’s recommendations. Retailers have been working hard to put all necessary measures in place to ensure social distancing can be observed.
“As lockdown measures start to ease, many of us will need cars to get back to work and it is crucial that automotive retailers are open to serve the workforce.
“The retail automotive sector looks forward to welcoming customers back into showrooms”.
That last part is telling. The industry needs customers and businesses to get back to buying cars to support car manufacturers and dealerships alike.
Car showrooms are currently undergoing some drastic changes to ensure that they remain ‘COVID compliant’ once customers are being welcomed in. This means that staff and customers will have to maintain social distancing while going about their business and you’ll likely find taped-off sections dividing the sales floor.
We’re confident that showrooms will collectively comply with safety regulations to ensure that they can provide a safe environment for their loyal customers to return to.
So, if you’ve been meaning to replace your vehicle throughout the pandemic, now is the time to do so. Dealerships are reopening, cars need selling, and the industry wheels need to start turning once more. Why not launch an enquiry with your dealership and arrange a test drive for when they’re ready?