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Monday, 30 March 2020 19:06

Family-Owned PA Auto Dealerships Hold onto Hope as Coronavirus Crisis Rocks Main Street

Written by Jen Samuel, Daily Local News
Sky Motor Cars team members include, left to right, Kevin Reece, Justin Spoont, owner Brett Sholder and Andrew Rennard. Sky Motor Cars team members include, left to right, Kevin Reece, Justin Spoont, owner Brett Sholder and Andrew Rennard. Daily Local News


As per the economic impact that this crisis has caused, she noted, “Any day in which a car sits on their lot, unable to be sold, is a direct cost to the dealership.”


Jeff Haly founded his Downingtown auto business, HG Motorcar Corporation, 38 years ago in 1982. Besides sales, the enterprise offers service maintenance and body shop repairs.


The Downingtown business officially closed all departments in-house, including service, on March 24.


Haly said he never recalled a time when dealerships were asked to close.


He said all of his vendors were doing a great job deferring payments.


“Everybody has been wonderful,” Haly said.


HG Motorcar Corporation has 14 employees.


“I’m trying to pay my employees as best I can. But, it’s hard,” Haly said. “We invest most of our cash. We have $1.5 million worth of inventory here---and it’s still sitting here---that we’re not allowed to sell. So obviously our cash flow is virtually nil.”


H.G. Motorcar is located at 711 W. Lancaster Ave. in Downingtown.


During the wake of this crisis, H.G. Motorcar closed down at its borough headquarters; however, the staff remains on-call ready to help customers in need.


“I have mechanics on call. If we have somebody that has an emergency, we will pick it up, we will fix it, we will deliver it,” Haly said, noting the ability of his business to deliver maintenance and repair services depends on the advanced auto part warehouses staying open.


“If we can’t get parts, we can’t fix it,” he said.


“We’re strong. We're all healthy here,” Haly said. “We’re only closed because we’ve been mandated to close. We’re here to work. We’re here to fix people’s cars.”


On March 23, the National Automobile Dealers Association sent a coalition letter to President Donald Trump asking for help.


At least in Maryland, the governor is listening. According to Maryland Automobile Dealers Association President Pete Kitzmiller, auto sales were deemed an "essential" service by Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan.


Brett Sholder is the owner of Sky Motor Cars in West Chester. He opened the venue, on 969 S Matlack St., back in 2002.


As for his employees, Sholder said, “There’s five of us.”

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