As additional states and municipalities issue stay-at-home orders and business closures, dealerships are caught in a coronavirus-created storm of confusion.
On March 24, the leaders of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), the American Truck Dealers (ATD), the National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers (NAMAD), the American International Automobile Dealers Association (AIADA) and the Alliance for Automotive Innovation sent a letter to President Donald Trump asking for clarification that vehicle sales are essential services that need to be maintained during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Federal officials already issued clarity that vehicle repair shops are deemed to be essential services and are to remain open.
The associations explained the ability to provide replacement cars and trucks in response to any number of scenarios will be vital to ensuring that those in need of reliable personal transportation continue to have access to it. The groups stressed that franchised car and truck dealers recognize the need to conduct even limited sales and leasing activities in a manner that protects the general public, customers and employees.
“Most consumers are concerned about their jobs, families and health and will not be in the market for new or used vehicles for weeks or months, so the overall effect of this additional capacity will be limited,” the groups wrote. “However, for the many people who may need a replacement vehicle or a new vehicle for any number of reasons, the additional sales activity surely would be defined as vital or essential to them.”