Getting customers back to the dealerships
Recent data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) showed 4,321 new cars were registered in April 2020, compared with 161,064 in April 2019, representing a 97% decrease and a reduction in actual registrations of 156,743 – the lowest level since 1946.
So, now that the government has issued guidance for dealerships on the safety measures to be put in place, customers can once again take vehicles for a test drive and browse the showroom.
The question is, will they?
By following the guidance, dealerships will be doing everything they can to encourage footfall: the latest health and safety information and guidance must be on display while face masks and hand sanitiser should be available for all. Understandably, refreshment machines will not be available for the foreseeable future.
Staff may have been provided with gloves, and clear screens may have been fitted over desks and tables, including the reception area. For visitors to the showroom, social distancing is expected, and dealerships may help by placing markers on the floor.
Obviously, dealerships will be following a rigorous cleaning schedule throughout the showroom, with every vehicle and desk regularly disinfected and cleaned after each customer. When it comes to the actual test drive, vehicles may be fully disinfected before use or fitted with protective coverings, and the member of dealership staff may sit in the back wearing PPE.
If a customer does buy a vehicle from the dealership, they still have the option to collect it in person, but instead of the traditional face to face handover, they may receive handover videos delivered by email to demonstrate the key features as well as the necessary paperwork which can be completed electronically.