Coronavirus: Confusion around car showrooms opening in June

Published 19 May 2020

As factories and non-essential business begin to reopen, dealers remain coy about potentially opening their doors to customers on 1 June, leaving thousands of car buyers in limbo over vehicle deliveries. 

With factories beginning to start up production again, dealerships should be reopening soon according to new Government lockdown rules. However, there's still a lot of confusion surrounding whether this will go ahead, or what the timescale will look like. 

>>> Government stimulus needed to jump-start UK car industry, says Ford has asked a number of major car dealer groups when they plan to reopen and all have refused to commit to the proposed 1 June timeframe - news that will disappoint car buyers who have been waiting months for their new vehicles to be delivered.

A spokesperson for JCT600, which has 52 dealerships in the UK, said: "We are continuing to make preparations in readiness for reopening, but we will closely monitor the Government’s guidance before making any firm decision on when we will reopen showrooms."

Marshall Motor Group, which has over 100 franchises, tweeted: 'The date is due to be confirmed very soon. Our dealerships are now being prepared to welcome back visitors.'

Lookers, Sytner, Marshall Motor Group and Arnold Clark have so far declined to comment.  

When showrooms do reopen (possibly in June), social distancing measures will be introduced to keep both staff and customers safe. These include in-store signage, floor stickers, desk screens and hand sanitiser stations.

There will likely be a limit on how many people can enter a showroom at once, as with supermarkets, and customers could be asked to wear a face mask and gloves if they do want to enter one of the demonstration cars. 

JCT600 said that when it does reopen, teams will be available on an appointment-only basis, so that social distancing is implemented at all times. It's also extending opening hours to maximise appointment availability for customers.

The news follows recent data which showed 97.3 per cent drop in new car registrations in April as dealerships closed amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.


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