COVID-19 changing the way car sales happen

How car dealerships are adapting
COVID-19 changing the way car sales happen
Posted at 11:23 PM, Mar 26, 2020

SOUTHERN COLORADO — Businesses throughout Colorado that are not included on the essential list designated by Governor Jared Polis'
Stay at Home order are finding new ways to keep themselves going. News5 met with two different car dealerships, who said the way they handle sales is changing drastically.

Mike Zavislan has owned Southwest Motors in Pueblo for almost 30 years. Zavislan said he didn't want to close, but understood the reason behind the decision. "It's a necessary evil. We're better off closing for two weeks and get it behind us, then go through the rest of the summer with it trickling to the rest of the community," said Zavislan.

Almost 60 people work at Southwest Motors, and technicians can still come in and work on the service side. However, sales staff will have to call in from home, and make sales virtually. Zavislan said all of his staff will be paid through the end of March. "Service is a lot busier when we're open and we're bringing a lot of cars in. We buy about 100 cars a week that need to be serviced of our own, that we're not getting in right now. So, realistically, we have enough business until sometime, middle of next week, and then we don't know," said Zavislan.

Phil Long Ford of Chapel Hills Service Director Steven Hogarth said none of their employees have lost their jobs. "This morning, when we got here, the idea was that we we're going to have to furlough the whole sales staff," said Hogarth.

However, Hogarth said they can still make sales online, so they only furloughed eight service employees. They also are emphasizing their pick-up and drop-off services for things like maintenance. "Paying special attention to first responders, hospitals, any nurses, doctors, police officers, any of the medical staff or support staff at hospitals, we will pick up and deliver their vehicle, offering discounts to them," said Hogarth.

Hogarth also said all of his service staff are using personal protective equipment and are sanitizing the vehicles they service thoroughly.

Both dealers said if you need a car right now, there are lots of good deals at the moment, which they expect to continue when they reopen their physical doors.