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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 for auto sales being allowed to continue in Maryland, but deemed not permissible, even online, for Pennsylvanian car dealerships, Sholder shared his concern.


“It’s kind of disturbing,” Sholder said. “You can have somebody local who needs a car and you can’t sell them, but they can drive down 95 in an hour, or less than that, and buy a car.”


Although, in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, Sky Motor Cars cannot sell cars in-house or online, as of press time, the dealership can still take deposits. Sholder's staff is working remotely to handle all inquiries.


“This is the unknown,” Sholder said. “We don't know how long this is gonna continue and how long we can sustain being shut down. We’re retail only.”


Sky Motor Cars operates a sales department; it doesn’t have a service center.


Sky Motor Cars carries a broad range of vehicles and offers a completely transparent car buying process.


One of the cars in stock today at Sky Motor Cars is a 2013 Ford F-150 SuperCrew 4WD SVT Raptor. It retails for just under $35,000.


As for the coronavirus crisis, Sholder said of his business, “Thankfully we have cash on hand. As long as it’s not three months we’ll weather the storm. Other dealerships that don’t have cash could really get into a bad situation."


As of press time, New Jersey auto dealers remained unable to sell cars in-house at their showrooms or online, according to New Jersey CAR President Jim Appleton during an interview March 24. He said the issue would hopefully be resolved with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy by the end of the week.


“Safety is paramount,” said Jeff D'Ambrosio, during an interview with the Daily Local News on March 24.


His business, Jeff D'Ambrosio Auto Group, employs nearly 200 people in Chester County with four dealership showrooms in the region.


“Their family and their safety comes first,” he said of his employees, whom he described as his friends.

While service is open, sales closed down last week, due to the crisis.


D'Ambrosio opened his first car dealership in Chester County nearly 40 years ago, in 1983. Its flagship location is at 1221 E. Lancaster Ave. in Downingtown.


“We will get through this together,” he said. “Fear is a terrible enemy.”

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