Dealers Bringing Back Workers

By Staff Writer May 19, 2020 521

Nearly 2/3 of dealers surveyed by the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association recently reported they have begun the process of bringing back employees they had previously laid-off or furloughed.

The survey of 846 dealers conducted from May 9-May 14 showed 63 percent of dealers are bringing back employees. The survey also showed that 47 percent of dealers surveyed had remained at full staffing, while 20 percent of those surveyed said they were not bringing back employees at the time of the survey.

According to NIADA, 31 percent of dealers looking to bring back employees had problems since employees were hesitant to come back since they were making more money through unemployment, which has been boosted by an additional $600 through the COVID-19 crisis. Thirty-nine percent of dealers had no problems bringing employees back.

The survey also showed dealerships opening up again, with 44 percent doing business as usual (compared to 27 percent in April), 34 percent open by appointment only and 10 percent selling online only. Just 11 percent remain closed temporarily – down from 27 percent – and one percent reported they have closed permanently.

“I am encouraged that the COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t put more dealers out of business permanently, as was originally feared,” NIADA CEO Steve Jordan said. “Recovery and signs of life are showing, as 88 percent of dealers are open for business, with almost half open for ‘business as usual.’

“Unfortunately, open for business as usual doesn’t always mean sales have returned.”

Indeed, sales remain below pre-COVID levels for most dealers – 53 percent of the respondents said their sales were down 50 percent or more for the previous two weeks. Twelve percent of dealers said their sales were back to normal levels and 6 percent said sales were actually better than before the pandemic.

Rebuilding sales and customer traffic is by far the greatest challenge currently faced by independent dealers, cited by 38 percent of respondents. That’s twice as many as the second choice, access to inventory at 19 percent, which was followed by funding and access to capital at 17 percent.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 20 May 2020 13:56

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