Why automobile dealerships remain open in La. during coronavirus pandemic
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Most automobile dealerships in Louisiana are remaining open during the COVID-19 pandemic.
COVID-19 is commonly referred to as the novel coronavirus.
Will Green, President of the Louisiana Automobile Dealers Association (LADA), says dealerships are allowed to remain open under the guidelines issued by Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards.
Green’s group represents 340 new vehicle and heavy truck dealers in Louisiana.
Many dealerships are offering specials such as zero-percent financing in order to keep business coming in during a time when most Louisiana residents have been ordered to stay at home unless a trip is essential.
“There are certainly incentives out there to help offset the tough times we are going through,” Green said Tuesday.
“We know that people need safe and reliable transportation now more than ever,” Green said. “In some of our dealerships, they have moved their configurations around inside the showroom to allow for proper social distancing,” he said.
Green says it does not make sense to only keep open the service departments at dealerships. “Operating a service department alone does no good if, for example, someone’s engine is blown and they need a new vehicle,” Green said.
Green also pointed to a National Automobile Dealers study that he says shows about 1.8 million vehicles nationwide have lease agreements that expire between now and June. Green says all of the LADA dealerships have stepped up cleaning at the dealership and most are operating with a reduced staff.
Some dealers are utilizing online sales and at-home delivery to minimize in-person interaction with customers, Green said.
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