While unfathomable just 6 months ago, the world today is still gripped by the far-reaching tentacles of the COVID-19 epidemic, and it’s no exaggeration that every business, large or small has been effected to some degree.
The coronavirus is not only affecting the health of the people but also the economy of the land. With shops closed and workers unable to work, it has shown impacts on different industries. The car dealership is no exception to that.
Today we’ll look at the initial business impact to the car business and what the mid to long-term impact might be on the industry.
Car Dealerships During The Pandemic
Usually, car dealerships are quite busy during the weekends when customers use their day-offs to find suitable vehicles for them to buy or lease. This is where the car salesperson can shine. With different and attractive credit conditions and loan terms, there has been a boom in the car industry. However, the sudden pandemic has halted this boom.
Due to our current COVID-19 pandemic, most European and American production has been shut down. Showrooms in most US states are also closed. The most common way of selling cars is through the brick-and-mortar stores but at this time when that isn’t possible, remote and online selling of cars is an option many are taking. This has made some customers more comfortable at purchasing their vehicles.
In areas where showrooms were still open, dealerships made sure to sanitize their place of business as well as the cars and other touch surfaces. There is also social distancing among employees and customers as well. Cars are also
At this time, there are still many people looking into getting cars. It’s a time when mobility is needed and auto dealers are able to provide that. Mobility is essential to getting what people need such as food and medicine.
Many people decide that they need their own vehicle today because they don’t want to ride public transportation. They don’t want to rely on ridesharing either. Although many car dealerships were forced to close, for the time being, there are now some that are opening after the local authorities realized that there is a need for them.
Shift In Remote And Online Selling
Doing car business online and over the phone isn’t really a new thing. Many have this option available even before the pandemic. However, at this time, we are seeing that a lot has gotten to doing business through these platforms. E-commerce is currently used to purchase a lot of things and can also be used to buy and sell cars.
However, there are still some car dealerships who may be struggling especially if they were only focused on the traditional way of doing the business. There are also some customers who are struggling with the idea of purchasing a car online. The biggest factor here is the shock because the pandemic came quickly and the industry wasn’t prepared to have everything shut down. This isn’t only true for the car industry but also for different industries.
What is great about some automakers is that they are promoting shop-from-home programs offered by various local dealerships that they supply cars to. Porsche and General Motors are some of the brands that help customers, buyers, and leasers by offering good deals so that the business can still continue.
Apart from the deals offered by car makers, there are also many dealerships that are providing great incentive offers to customers. Currently, most dealerships are offering these through their website. Many are now relying on internet sales and are offering delivery services for vehicles.
However, most will only deliver cars when the sales negotiation has been finalized, or else the dealership could be penalized for at-home sales. Also, buyers still need to come in person to sign their name physically for the sale to be finalized.
Lots of people believe that this change in the way of selling cars isn’t just going to happen at this time of the pandemic. The pandemic can change how people buy and sell cars permanently. It is expected that there is a great percentage of car dealers who will achieve full e-commerce capabilities.
In such a case, we can see a glimpse of the future of car dealership. Going fully online may push laws of physical paperwork signatures to change. When that time comes, then we can fully say that car dealership has permanently and drastically stepped in the future of online shopping.