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Updated: Auto Industry Addresses Coronavirus Concerns

Shortly after the highly successful NADA 2020 wrapped up, NADA President and CEO Peter Welch wrote that “the mood among dealers (at the show) was extremely upbeat. And why not? The industry closed out 2019 with sales topping 17 million new units for the fifth straight year.” He went on to say, “Dealers are more than ready for 2020 and whatever the beginning of this new decade throws at them.”

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Little did we know what would be thrown and how soon.

Instead of repeating the latest medical news, the AutoSuccess team is providing news and updates from dealers, OEMs, our contributors and our marketing partners. We’ll continue to share what they are doing in response — news and information that will help dealers and their customers get through these trying times.

If you would like to share how your dealership is responding, please visit our Facebook page or if you have company news to add, please email the information to [email protected].

Take care,

Susan Givens, Scott Ghedine, Jennifer Clements, Thomas Williams, Hannah Struck, Katelyn Mueller and the rest of the AutoSuccess team.

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Spring Anderson, BDC Manager and Internet Sales Director at Allen Samuels Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram
Anderson, who appeared in the October 2109 issue of AutoSuccess, reports that the dealership is open for all customers’ vehicle needs. The dealership, like many across the country, is taking extra precautions cleaning their facility.

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“We contracted with a local company to fog all of our customer fronting areas and employee offices with a Micro-Biostatic Surface Protection,” Anderson said. “The antimicrobial treatment was applied last night after the dealership was cleaned and sanitized. They fogged all of the customer lounges, counter tops, office desks and chairs as well as walls. The active ingredient in the coating polymerizes all surfaces is colorless, odorless and food friendly.

“We have increased the frequency of cleaning our public areas (including lobbies, door handles, public bathrooms, etc.) and have continued the use of the best disinfectant we can find.”

Other measures the dealership is taking include antibacterial hand sanitizers, free pick up and delivery for vehicles that need to come in for service or routine maintenance, plastic covers for vehicle seats and steering wheels, as well as a zero physical contact policy (instead of a handshake).

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Prime Automotive Group Introduces ‘Prime Pickup’

In order to maintain their premier level of customer service, even in unprecedented times, Prime Automotive Group (“Prime”) is announcing that they will immediately begin “Prime Pickup,” a vehicle pickup and delivery service. Cars can be delivered to customers’ locations for test drives and newly purchased vehicles can be dropped off at a customer’s front door. 

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In addition, if autos are in need of repair or maintenance, Prime employees will pick them up and then drop them off when service is complete (mileage restrictions may apply).

Prime has already instituted precautions in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. These range from employee health and safety protocols to extra sanitary measures in all areas of the dealerships. Cars that are being delivered or serviced will be sanitized as much as possible. Particular attention will be paid to “high touch” areas such as steering wheels, door handles, gear shifts, etc.

This service will only be offered in areas where it complies with government directives. Should sheltering or other relevant measures be required Prime will adapt its program.

“During this time, customers have so many concerns, with the primary one being the health and safety of themselves and their families,” said Todd Skelton, CEO of Prime Automotive Group. “If we can be supportive in a small way by offering this service, we are very happy to do so.”

Prime customers who wish to take advantage of this service should contact their local dealership sales or service associate for details. 

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Rapid Recon Expands Online Training Capabilities Due to Coronavirus

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Rapid Recon announced the temporary suspension of onsite training and the expansion of its online training program. Both decisions help address health concerns for dealership customer personnel and Rapid Recon employees, due to COVID-19 pandemic travel concerns.

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Digital Air Strike Video Retailing Program at No Cost to Automotive Clients in Response to COVID-19

 “We are offering our Video Retailing Program at no charge for the next 30 days to all clients, and we will continue to refine and evolve the program to assist with community outreach and reinforce health best practices,” said Alexi Venneri, co-founder and CEO of Digital Air Strike.  “It can also help accommodate staff that may need a work-from-home option but still need to assist consumers at the same time.”

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Chris Collins shares “How to Avoid Coronavirus Killing Your Service Drive.”

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“With Coronavirus or Covid-19 panic taking the world by storm, how can you keep yourself and your team calm?”

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With plant closures looming, automakers are starting to see a slowdown in delivery of aftermarket parts. For dealers already struggling to meet their bottom line, they should consider using predictive analytics tools and virtual communication to maintain sales levels. Here are some proactive tips from automotiveMastermind to help ease the pain of dealerships suffering from potential closures and lack of foot traffic.

  • Use customer data within your predictive analytics dashboard to create an in-store experience over the phone.
  • Personalized talking points allow dealers to have that upfront conversation – all the way up to pricing.
  • Maximize inventory by contacting customers virtually – match whose needs and preference fit the inventory that you have on hand.
  • Get all the “heavy lifting” done in advance, so prospects are ready to buy once they feel comfortable coming into the dealership


Carla Nurse, director of sales development at Mastermind, put together this quick video with tips for dealers. Watch for more from automotiveMastermind as they’ll be sharing additional video tips from Carla throughout the week.

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Hyundai Relaunches Assurance Job Loss Protection Program

The Hyundai Assurance Job Loss Protection program provides up to six months of payment relief for customers who lose their job involuntarily. For those customers who need a new vehicle, Hyundai is also deferring payments for 90-days on select new models purchased at a Hyundai dealership and financed through Hyundai Capital.

UAW, GM, Ford and FCA to Enhance Covid-19/Coronavirus Protections for Manufacturing, Warehouse Workers

In a joint statement, the leaders of GM, Ford and FCA said, “This is a fluid and unprecedented situation, and the task force will move quickly to build on the wide-ranging preventive measures we have put in place. We are all coming together to help keep our workforces safe and healthy.”

Nissan Announces Measures in the U.S. in Response to COVID-19

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The safety and well-being of Nissan employees is always our highest priority. Starting March 16, we are directing those with the ability to work remotely to do so until further notice. This action is out of an abundance of caution to help reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus and to allow us to redeploy resources for the employee populations who are unable to work remotely.

More information will be added as it is received.

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