CoVid-19 Industry Updates

CoVid-19 Industry Updates (92)

CEO Steve Jordan of the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association told Used Car News via email on March 16 the group is doing several things to address concerns about COVID-19.

“We are revisiting our conference planning and strategy now that the CDC has issued its guidance to cancel or postpone any event with more than 50 people for 60 days,” Jordan said.  “Our event is beyond that window, but the effects to the industry are still yet unknown.”

This followed an earlier email from Jordan discussing NIADA’s overall strategy.

“Externally, we are working on a high-level document of generally recommended best practices for our dealer members based on widely accepted WHO and CDC guidance, which we’ll release shortly,” he stated. “Internally, NIADA has instituted a 30-day travel ban, and we are prepared to assist any NIADA staff member who requires a quarantine to work remotely in an effort to maintain continuity of their work.  We have put an ad-hoc response team in place that meets daily to review any ongoing concerns around the virus and to manage the NIADA response to any new developments accordingly.

“Each NIADA 20 Group meeting is being monitored on a case-by-case basis and management is working with members to make the best, informed decision for the group. All other NIADA events including our 2020 Convention and Expo in June in Las Vegas, our National Policy Conference in September in D.C. and our NABD Fall show are beyond the current travel ban and have not been disrupted in any way.”

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering relief for businesses struggling with the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance for a small business. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. The SBA is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19. Upon a request received from a state’s or territory’s governor, SBA will issue under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently enacted, an economic injury disaster loan declaration.

The declaration’s issuance makes loans available to small businesses and private, non-profit organizations in designated areas of a state or territory.

Once a declaration is made for designated areas within a state, information on the application process will be made available to all affected communities. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible.

The United Auto Workers (UAW), General Motors Co., Ford Motor Company and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) announced they are forming a COVID-19/Coronavirus Task Force to implement enhanced protections for manufacturing and warehouse employees at all three companies.

UAW President Rory Gamble, GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra, Ford Executive Chairman Bill Ford, Ford President and CEO Jim Hackett and FCA CEO Michael Manley will lead the task force.

“Workplace health and safety is a priority for us every day, and all three companies have been taking steps to keep the COVID-19/coronavirus out of their facilities and during this national emergency, we will do even more working together,” said Gamble, who convened the leaders of all three companies. “We are focused on doing the right thing for our people, their families, our communities and the country.”

In a joint statement, the leaders of GM, Ford and FCA said, “This is a fluid and unprecedented situation, and the task force will move quickly to build on the wide-ranging preventive measures we have put in place. We are all coming together to help keep our workforces safe and healthy.”

The joint task force’s areas of focus will include vehicle production plans, additional social distancing, break and cleaning schedules, health and safety education, health screening, food service and any other areas that have the potential to improve protections for employees.

Organizers of the Conference of Automotive Remarketing have postponed this year’s event, originally scheduled for March 24-25 in Las Vegas.

An announcement from Bobit Business Media on the conference website read:

“After a great deal of discussion, we have jointly decided to postpone the 2020 CAR Conference. The safety and health of our attendees and partners is of paramount importance at this time.

“We want to take a minute to offer our sincere thanks and appreciation to all of our partners on this event. We couldn’t do it without you and we won’t do it without you. The NAAA and IARA, along with the senior leadership at Cox Automotive, KAR Global, ServNet, America’s Auto Auction, and IAA have all been incredibly supportive throughout this process and we look forward to putting together a great remarketing event with all of you down the road.”

Following the recommendation of county and state officials in Florida, executives with Barrett-Jackson announced the company will postpone its 18th annual Palm Beach auction, scheduled for April 16-18, at the South Florida Fairgrounds. The decision was made due to the uncertainty of the current public health crisis and to safeguard auction customers, sponsors and guests from the potential spread of COVID-19.

“While every indication shows that our bidders, consignors and sponsors were behind our efforts to hold our auction, we’ve decided to follow the advice of the Florida governor and exercise an abundance of caution at this time,” said Craig Jackson chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson. “Our decision to postpone the auction was made to protect the public’s safety and health.”

The Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach auction is expected to be rescheduled for Oct. 15-17. Current ticket holders can have their tickets transferred to the new event dates. Full refunds will be also available. Details for transfers and refunds will be communicated directly to ticket holders.

As a result of the ongoing health concerns from the spread of the coronavirus in the region, the New York International Auto Show has been rescheduled to Aug. 28 - Sept. 6.

“We are taking this extraordinary step to help protect our attendees, exhibitors and all participants from the coronavirus,” said Mark Schienberg, president of the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, the organization that owns and operates the New York Auto Show. 

“For 120 years, ‘the show must go on’ has been heavily embedded in our DNA, and while the decision to move the show dates didn’t come easy, our top priority remains with the health and well-being of all those involved in this historic event.

“We have already been in communication with many of our exhibitors and partners and are confident that the new dates for the 2020 show will make for another successful event,” Schienberg added.

More than $330 million in economic benefit is attributed to the annual New York International Auto Show.

Manheim joined KAR Auction Services in limiting travel due to fears of COVID-19.

Manheim recently has released a statement on its efforts to protect employees during the coronavirus outbreak

“With locations across the country, we continually plan for situations that have the potential to impact our operations such as hurricanes, winter storms and more. I want to take some time to assure our team members, clients and those in our local communities that our team is prepared to address COVID-19 developments,” read the statement from Manheim President Grace Huang and Patrick Brennan, senior vice president of inventory solutions.

“Working closely with Cox, our parent company, we are taking multiple steps to maintain services provided to clients while ensuring the safety of those within our business reach. We are in close contact with government and health officials as this situation evolves.

“Through the end of March, we’ve asked all Manheim team members to refrain from international business travel, limit domestic business travel and large group meetings and observe CDC suggested 14-day quarantines at home if they’ve traveled to Level 3 countries or come in close contact with those who have.

Manheim is also “sending ongoing communications to team members to follow CDC sanitation guidelines and provide hand sanitizers throughout our facilities with posted signs to remind team members, clients and visitors to wash and sanitize their hands often. Team members who feel ill will not report to work under any circumstances.

‘We have also put in place additional actions to limit exposure to COVID-19, including: having protocols that activate closures, deep cleanings and appropriate quarantine procedures should the need arise; temporarily halting food service in our lanes and lots; extending cleaning crew hours; and encouraging clients who prefer an alternative to attending in-person sales to use digital channels such as Manheim.com and Manheim Express to conduct business.”

KAR Auction Services had earlier suspended travel through the end of March.

 

Annette Chapman took over the reins of the Michigan Independent Automobile Dealers Association Oct. 14, replacing Lisa Michael.

“I’ve worked in customer service and sales for, pretty much, 25 years,” she said. Herexperience was in the food-and-beverage industry.

“It was in a different business but, as far as I’m concerned, the (skillset) is basically the same; network with people, answer their questions and get them help wherever it’s needed.

“That’s kind of my forte - customer service and sales.”

Chapman said Michael’s strengths were more on the administrative side.

If Chapman’s last name looks familiar, it’s because she is the daughter-in-law of Nancy Chapman, the former Michigan IADA executive director who retired in 2014.

Chapman said she briefly assisted Nancy Chapman at Michigan IADA.

“I worked for her for a short time when someone was out of the office,” Chapman said. “It was only about a three-week period.”

Chapman said the association was seeking someone with a background in sales and her “name happened to come up” with someone who had known me through her work with the association in the past.

She would help out during previous Michigan IADA conventions with decorating for the event.

Chapman said the charge she’s been given is to “promote the growth and vitality and integrity  of the motor vehicle industry.”

One goal is to make sure she’s working hand-in-hand with dealers.

“It’s about going out and being the foot soldier, seeing them at their places of business,” Chapman said.

In her brief time at the helm, she’s been in communication with members through phone calls, emails and visits to auctions.

“My hope is to bring in more members as the membership has dwindled over the past few years,” Chapman said.I’m hoping to bring those numbers up.”

The association currently has 251 members.

Chapman has been meeting with dealers, trying to recruit new members and attending dealer training events.

She’s also helping answer their questions on rules and regulations regarding the business.

Chapman will not be alone in leading the association.

“We have an attorney as well as a lobbyist,” Chapman said. “I work very closely with them on a daily basis.”

Allison Harrison, out of Columbus, Ohio, is the association’s attorney and Bill Zaagman serves as the association’s lobbyist.

Chapman held her first board meeting in Lansing, the state capital, in November.

“It was a very good meeting and I got to meet everyone in person,” she said. “I had a good response.

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