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Essential Business Vs. Non-Essential: Where Do Car Dealerships Fall?

Posted at 6:58 PM, Mar 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-31 20:10:44-04

We’ve answered many questions about essential versus non-essential businesses. But what about a part of an essential business that seems non-essential?

One viewer called our coronavirus hotline asking, “What about dealerships? I know that they have maintenance and they have parts, but there's nothing to say whether sales stays open or not.”

Another viewer called in and said, "I can understand maybe the service and maintenance would be open. But to openly sell cars and to have people on the showroom and in the cars and sales and management staff, I mean, it makes no
sense as to how that can be essential.”

2 Works for You reached out to several local dealerships and was referred to an article by the National Automobile Dealers Association. It says when leases are up or cars or trucks are totaled or stop working entirely, Americans still need transportation. The article claims that, in 2019, more than 46,800 light vehicles were sold each day. For those who don’t currently own or lease a vehicle, coronavirus has limited their access to public transportation, leaving many without a mode of transportation. These Americans must be able to visit the country’s 18,000 dealerships that can offer personal, safe transportation.

The article continues to say that, each day, roughly 34,400 vehicles scrapped, according to a 2020 report by CCC Information Services. These vehicles are leaving the U.S. fleet and need to be replaced by new or used vehicles sitting on dealership lots.

The National Automobile Dealers Association also says that if a critical essential business needs to add vehicles to its fleet, that company has to go through a dealership to do so.

If there is a coronavirus question you would like our problem solvers to look into, call our coronavirus hotline at 918-748-1502 and leave a message.

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