The COVID-19 Stay at Home Executive Order, especially the early stages when customers needed appointments to enter dealership showrooms, prompted many dealers to try to accommodate their customers by pivoting to a remote sales process where possible. Although remote sales are a good way to practice social distancing while selling vehicles, remote sales involve some important differences from typical in-showroom sales to keep in mind.
2020 Issue 3 Articles
The auto industry recently experienced unprecedented change in the span of a few months due to the coronavirus pandemic. The impact has been felt by OEMs, dealers, and their customers. Although online sales are commonplace for purchasing certain consumer goods, even groceries, vehicle transactions have historically not kept pace with other digitally retailed goods. Visits to dealership showrooms to consummate deals remains the norm. This is partially due to the need for original, or “wet,” signatures being required for certain documents that comprise the entire vehicle sales transaction (e.g., title, odometer, secure POA, tax forms).
As of June 26th, all four Illinois regions have moved to Phase 4 of Governor Pritzker’s plan to gradually reopen the State of Illinois. Few of the changes from Phase 3 to Phase 4 directly impact the motor vehicle retail industry, but Phase 4 includes changes that open additional sectors of the economy and make child care more readily available for working parents. Advancing to Phase 4 is seen as a sign that the Governor and his advisors see the State making progress against COVID-19.