From increased sanitizing and cleaning to maintaining social distancing, auto dealerships are doing everything they can to keep their customers, employees and communities safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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March 24, 2020
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Auto Dealerships are Stepping Up During COVID-19

From increased sanitizing and cleaning to maintaining social distancing, auto dealerships are doing everything they can to keep their customers, employees and communities safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to following CDC guidelines, many are going above and beyond and are coming up with creative ways to give back and strengthen the communities they serve in a time of unprecedented need. Here are five ways auto dealers have changed the way they are doing business and helping their communities.
Source: NADA

Top Stories 

Auto Trade Groups Ask Trump for Clearer Guidance on 'Essential Services'
A coalition of trade groups representing the nation's automobile dealers has asked President Donald Trump to clarify that certain sales and leasing activities at franchised dealerships are considered essential services during the coronavirus pandemic. In a letter sent to the White House on Monday, the group — consisting of the National Automobile Dealers Association, American International Automobile Dealers Association, Alliance for Automotive Innovation, National Association of Minority Automobile Dealers and American Truck Dealers — expressed its appreciation for federal guidance on March 19 that listed vehicle manufacturing, supply manufacturing, maintenance and repair facilities as essential services.
Source: Automotive News

Negotiators Aim to Wrap Up Talks Tuesday on U.S. Stimulus Package
Top lawmakers and the Trump administration aim to complete a colossal stimulus package worth at least $1.6 trillion on Tuesday in an effort to shield the U.S. economy from the most drastic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), who have led the negotiations for Republicans and Democrats, emerged from another set of late-night negotiations Monday saying they were within striking distance to a deal.
Source: The Wall Street Journal

Editor’s Note: As Congress closes in on reaching a deal on the Senate Phase 3 (CARES) Act, NADA continues to promote small business interruption loans, employee retention and tax relief provisions. NADA continues to receive positive reports that these provisions remain in the compromise bill in progress. Yesterday, to influence the Senate bill, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) introduced a $2.5 trillion stimulus plan that includes delaying mortgage and car payments. The Speaker’s bill includes broad progressive priorities and is considered a marker for future bills; although some provisions, such as restrictions on assistance to large corporations and expansion of unemployment insurance, are likely to be included in the Senate bill currently under consideration. NADA will closely review the Senate text as it finalized and will provide updates as they become available.

California Showrooms Closing as More States Issue Stay-At-Home Orders
The California New Car Dealers Association is recommending its members close 1,400 showrooms across the state to comply with the state's indefinite stay-at-home order and closure of nonessential businesses to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The move, if followed, could put thousands of the nearly 140,000 people employed at California dealerships temporarily out of work through layoffs, furloughs or terminations.
Source: Automotive News

Auto Shopping Drops 25% First Half of March
Overall automotive shopper volume for the first 15 days of March was off 25% compared with the same period in 2019, according to Comscore, an analytics company and market-data provider. It saw declines in all but one vehicle segment. Full-size pickup shoppers remained ahead of last year’s pace, likely buoyed by incentives and personal use needs. “For the first half of March 2020, which includes the beginning of self-quarantines and social distancing, in-market shopper volume fell to its lowest level in more than 6 years, a clear indicator that March 2020 sales – and beyond – are in for some turbulence ahead.”
Source: WardsAuto

CDK Cuts Dealership Fees; CEO Slashes Salary to $1
CDK Global Inc. CEO Brian Krzanich is reducing his salary and cash bonuses to $1 for the remainder of 2020 as the dealership technology company prepares to waive or reduce fees paid by dealerships in April. CDK, which provides dealership management and customer relationship management systems, said this week Krzanich's voluntary salary reduction will be effective from April 1 through the end of the calendar year. The company said Krzanich requested the move.
Source: Automotive News


“Not all vehicle sales are discretionary consumer purchases. A significant number of dealership sales transactions occur because a consumer or business is in immediate need of a replacement vehicle for basic transportation.”

– NADA, ATD, NAMAD, AIADA and the Alliance for Automotive Innovation in a letter to President Trump calling for auto and truck sales to be considered essential business, NADA, March 24

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Responding to Coronavirus: NADA Provides Updates on Action, New Law

President Trump has signed into law a multibillion-dollar emergency aid package aimed at helping employees impacted by the coronavirus. The new law provides certain eligible employees with potential coronavirus-related emergency paid sick leave, emergency family and medical leave, and expanded unemployment insurance. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act also includes tax credits for employers to offset the costs of providing such leaves. The top ten employment-related legal issues, including the new law, were covered in NADA’s webinar on key pandemic-related legal issues and mandates for automobile dealerships.
Source: NADA

Necessary Car and Truck Sales are Essential Business

The Trump administration issued guidance classifying automotive service as essential. While the essential nature of automotive service is not really in question, as service and repair is required to keep America’s fleet of cars and trucks on the road. But many sales at the dealership constitute essential business as well. Because when leases are up, or cars or trucks are totaled or stop working entirely, Americans still need transportation.
Source: NADA

NADA and Alliance Call on Trump Administration to Consider Dealerships Essential Businesses

Given the lack of uniformity in how states and local municipalities taking action are classifying dealership sales, service and parts operations, NADA and the Alliance have requested that the U.S. government ensure that the nation’s motor vehicle fleet remains as safe and operational as possible by considering vehicle repair, maintenance and sales facilities as essential operations during the coronavirus outbreak.
Source: NADA

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