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How Does COVID-19 Affect Car Buying in Canada?

How Does COVID-19 Affect Car Buying in Canada?

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing major disruption to industries across the board. From aviation to hospitality, the way business is done is changing rapidly, and the automotive industry is in no way insulated from the turmoil.

 

Although it's a fast-moving situation, here are some of the ways coronavirus may affect the Canadian car-buying situation from a dealership's perspective.

 

Increased Online Activity

 

So far, the main way of tackling COVID-19 is by limiting social contact as much as possible. While this means profound changes across all areas of life, there's a fairly simple way customers can adjust in the early stages of buying a car.

 

The internet makes it easy to research models, browse inventories, check deals, arrange finance, and even complete purchases online. While the situation is developing, it only makes sense for customers do as much of the car-buying process as they can from their home before thinking of venturing out to a dealership.

 

It's vital that car dealerships adapt to this situation, making their online presence a priority. Here are three important ways of doing so.

 

  • Maintain an up-to-date and comprehensive inventory on their websites.

 

  • Publish plenty of supporting content such as informative articles, comparisons, how-to guides and so on, to attract customers who are in the research phase.

 

  • Be highly responsive to email queries and other forms of online communication, answering as quickly and fully as possible.

 

Always remember that customers will be spreading their research across multiple dealerships, and the businesses which are most proactive will secure the most custom.

 

Key West Ford Covid 19 Update Ford Dealer in Vancouver

 

Dealerships Adapting to the new Norms

 

At the time of writing, Canada is yet to enter the lockdown situation experienced by many other countries. However, this may only be a matter of time. Most dealers will stay open for as long as possible, but if an extensive lockdown happens, customer visits to browse inventory and take a test drive will be out of the question.

 

But if full lockdown doesn't happen, or if it is lifted soon, it will be important to reassure visiting customers that you're taking all possible precautions.

 

  • Maintain social distancing at all times.

 

  • Disinfect touch-points of all vehicles to be inspected or test-driven.

 

  • Consider offering unsupervised test drives, taking security precautions such as holding a credit card until the vehicle is returned.

 

Growing Concerns Over Car Financing

 

In these uncertain times, finance facilities are more risky to provide. Ensure that you're insulated from defaults on any third-party packages you offer. If you provide in-house finance, tighten criteria significantly or even suspend the option temporarily.

 

Dealerships Now Offering Online Car Shopping & Home Deliveries

 

Lastly, once a sale has been completed, a home delivery option will be attractive to customers who wish to keep contact to a minimum. If you don't already offer this facility, now's the time to investigate the possibilities. And if you do offer it, it may be a good idea to reduce or waive any costs involved.

 

No one knows what the near future holds, nor how long the disruption will last. But car dealerships who are flexible and creative will be in the best place to weather the storm.

 

Online Car Shopping offered by Ford Dealership in Vancouver

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