Safety guidance publication supports dealer re-openings

Published:  13 May, 2020

While almost half of the UK’s independent garages have continued to operate through the COVID-19 lockdown, most of the franchised dealer network shut its doors, including workshops, at the end of March. The dealer sector is now looking to fully reopen, and guidance from the NFDA and SMMT has been published to help them do so.  

The NFDA and SMMT automotive retail guidance and best practice guide covers everything booking appointments to showroom interactions, test drives, click and collect, part exchanges and aftersales. It also includes advice on staff training, signage, sanitation and PPE.

It follows the publication of government guidance to help businesses across all sectors get back to work safely. While workshops and vehicle deliveries have been allowed to continue throughout the lockdown period, the closure of sales premises has had a devastating effect on the entire industry, with the new car market falling -97.3% in April.  

NFDA Director Sue Robinson said: “The guidance will allow automotive retailers to provide the best possible service in sales and aftersales while protecting staff and guests. Automotive retailers are resilient and will be working hard to overcome any challenges to safely welcome customers back to the showrooms.”  

SMMT Chief Executive Mike Hawes added: “A healthy new car market is a barometer of a strong economy and, with mobility so crucial to our everyday lives, now is the time to allow showrooms to re-open their doors. This guidance signals that Automotive is ready to get back to work to support the government as it sets the wheels of the UK’s recovery in motion, drive manufacturing and help get consumers and businesses safely back on the move in the latest, cleanest, high-tech vehicles.”  

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