AMSTERDAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Car and RV dealerships will now be able to show vehicles and meet with customers by appointment only.
For the past couple of months, Gov. Andrew Cuomo only allowed New York auto dealers to sell vehicles online. The New York State Automobile Dealers Association sent the Governor a plan to restart onsite sales during COVID-19.
“Getting the news that we can open by appointment only and start bringing in some essential people back to assist with that is the news that we are going in the right direction,” said Jason Rattray, General Manger of Alpin Haus RV Dealership Group.
Even though car dealerships got the green light to set up appointments with customers, the showroom access is still restricted to all walk-ins. Dealers are recommended to continue negotiating sales transaction by phone or electronically.
The NYSADA says, if a customer shows up for an appointment to see a vehicle, the dealer must be sure to follow social distancing rules, including wearing a mask when interacting with the customer. They are also required to sanitize the vehicles before and after each test drive.
General Manager of Fuccillo Chrysler Jeep Dodge and Ram of Amsterdam Wayel Algabyali believes this is the right step to getting business back on track.
“For right now customers can meet the agent in the parking lot, look at the vehicle, and then test drive it. There is a limitation on what they can test drive and what they can do,” he said.
Algabyali says sales have been slower during the pandemic, but he thinks allowing people back in the doors could make all the difference.
“There’s some customers that want to see the physical touch and physical feeling of a car. They still want to have that showroom experience,” he explained.
Rattray says, when it comes to selling an RV, it is all about the in-person experience.
“Its hard to really get a feel for what the RV layout is from looking at pictures and videos. I think a lot of it is just the feel when you get inside and start to take mental ownership of certain spaces,” he explained.
Rattray says many people use their RVs for camping and other travel. During the pandemic, Rattray says traveling in a RV could be safer when it comes to social distancing than going on a plane or a cruise.