Coronavirus causes 60% of garages to close

Published:  16 April, 2020

More than 60% of garages in the UK could have shut their doors since the COVID-19 lockdown began, a survey suggests.

Key closure causes cited in the survey, conducted by sector PR and marketing agency Impression Communications, were the significant drop in business caused by social distancing measures, and the decision to extend the MOT from 30 March by six months. Other respondents noted practical reasons such as childcare and the inability to source parts as motor factors had also closed.

The survey also found that around 25% of motor factors may be shut, and those that remain open are running 50% and below capacity. Those who closed cited public pressure as a key cause. On the supplier front, 67% of those surveyed said they were open, 25% were partially open, and 8% had shut.

On their awareness of business support measures, 88% of garages in the survey had heard of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, through which staff can be furloughed on 80% of their salary up to £2,500 per month.

When asked about the kind of online training they would want to pursue when at home or on furlough, 73% of garages said EV and hybrid training.

Demand for product had reduced dramatically, in some cases by up to 85%. Business support, product and sales training were key for suppliers during this time, the survey revealed.

Commenting on the findings, Impression Communications Director Mark Field said: “It’s clear that the MOT extension has had severe repercussions throughout the supply chain. Close communication is key as the market is changing on an almost daily basis with businesses reopening and garages receiving much needed support in the way of grants.”

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