The novel coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) pandemic has made life difficult for everyone. This is especially true for the automotive industry, which has never experienced anything quite like this before.
The global response of bringing everyone on a lockdown has put manufacturing companies to a grinding halt. The automotive industry, in particular, is bracing itself against the uncertainty the coronavirus lockdown can bring on the business.
For most Americans, it is next to impossible to visit a dealership, let alone buy or lease a new car given the financial stress the pandemic and the succeeding lockdown has caused. Consequently, the thought of monthly loan or lease payments have been causing undue pressure on car owners.
Incentives, Payment Deferrals, and Free Services
Fortunately, various companies offered to step up and offer some financial relief to all car shoppers to finally help ease their minds amidst the pandemic. A RAM dealership in Las Cruces, NM, for instance, offers a number of financing options for purchasing a car.
Automakers, in general, developed various ways for customers to buy or lease new vehicles on the most favorable terms. A Dodge dealership in El Paso, TX has confirmed that Fiat Chrysler America (FCA), the world renown maker of Dodge, RAM, and Jeep, has launched the “Drive Forward’ campaign. The campaign offers zero-percent financing for seven years (or 84 months) and payment deferral for 90 days on selected 2019 and 2020 models. These options are available for customers who have been deeply affected by the lockdown. The “Drive Forward’ campaign, which began last April 1, was launched for the sole purpose of offering favorable financing terms and extended payment period.
Aside from financial support, the company is also offering an Online Retail Experience that allows car shoppers to buy vehicles, conduct trade-ins, and apply for credit online. Service clients can also take advantage of the Online Retail Experience to book their service appointments, make express payments for vehicle pickup, and even arrange to have a test drive right in front of your driveway. There are also virtual test drives for those who want to purchase a vehicle but don’t want to break social distancing and quarantine rules.
As a precautionary measure, vehicles that are up for a test drive have been disinfected and inspected to ensure the safety not only of the clients but also the dealership’s valets and service managers.
Apart from the “Drive Forward” and Online Retail Experience initiatives, dealership employees are required to actively sanitize high traffic areas. There are also hand sanitizers available at every corner for customers’ use. Dealerships are also urged to temporarily suspend handshakes and other physical contact with clients.
These initiatives would help ease the mind of future and current car owners, especially if they are experiencing troubles due to the pandemic. There’s also the hope that once the world overcomes this pandemic, car shoppers would once again flock the dealerships for new vehicles.
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