ALERT: AIADA Cancels Washington Fly-In Due to Coronavirus

First Up 03/20/20

ALERT: AIADA Cancels Washington Fly-In Due to Coronavirus

In a letter to AIADA members, 2020 Chairman Jason Courter announces that AIADA has made the decision to cancel its Washington Fly-In. 

“It is with a heavy heart that I write today to inform all AIADA members of the cancellation of our Washington, D.C., Fly-In on May 4 and 5. In accordance with direction from the Center for Disease Control and the Washington, D.C., Mayor’s Office we are cancelling our annual event in order to protect each other and all Americans from the Covid-19 corona virus. This is not a decision I make lightly. I truly believe that this annual event is a critical element in guaranteeing that dealer interests are protected on Capitol Hill. Unfortunately, cross-country flights, handshakes, and in-person meetings – all the things that prove our commitment to our cause – are off the table during this pandemic.” 

Click here to read the rest of his letter to AIADA members on the cancelation of AIADA’s Washington Fly-In.

Worst Case: 3.1 Million Lost U.S. Vehicle Sales in 5 Months

How bad can it get for auto sales in coming months?  According to WardsAuto, a J.D. Power report on the impact of the COVID-19 virus tries to answer that, as much as it can. “There are so many variables and we’re not virus experts,” Tyson Jominy, a J.D. Power vice president for data and analytics, tells Wards. According to J.D. Power sales tracking, auto sales for the week ending March 8 declined only 1%. March 9-12 (Monday through Thursday) saw an 8% drop. That was followed by a 20% decline on Friday and Saturday (March 13-March 14). Then came a 36% drop on Sunday, March 15. To understand how the virus may affect the auto industry over the next five months, J.D. Power modeled near-term U.S. new-vehicle sales, using the market conditions of China as a baseline. J.D. Power created low/medium/high severity scenarios where the virus follows a 12-week cycle of escalation to recovery. The company projects the retail sales declines from these scenarios would be 800,000 (low scenario), 1.7 million (medium scenario) and 3.1 million (high scenario) between March and July. Dealer trade groups, such as the American International Automobile Dealers Assn., are lobbying for the government to declare dealerships as essential businesses. Read more here.

Webinar: Customer Care and Business Guidance During the Pandemic

Join AIADA’s Chairman and dealer, Jason Courter from Honda of Kirkland, and industry leader Kendall Billman for a special webinar on how to nurture your customers and keep your business viable

Kendall will discuss how to:

  • Address customer concerns and struggles, example: let the dealer become the liaison with the captive or bank

  • Manage the service lane during this crisis

  • Data-mine the correct customers

Jason Courter will share his firsthand experience from the west coast pandemic epicenter of Kirkland, Washington.

WHEN: Thursday, March 26 - 2:00 p.m. EDT.

To register, click here. 

Trump Says He'll Help Auto Industry 'At Least a Little Bit'

President Donald Trump said his administration would help the U.S. auto industry amid pleas for help from parts manufacturers, reports Bloomberg. “We’re watching the auto industry very much,” Trump said Thursday on a call with state governors. “We’re going to be helping them out at least a little bit and they’ve sort of requested some help, and it wasn’t their fault what happened. So we’ll be taking care of the auto industry.” His comment was prompted by Michigan’s Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who said she had concerns about the finances of some auto suppliers. The pledge of support came after the Motor And Equipment Manufacturers Association, a trade group for auto parts-makers, urged Republican and Democratic congressional leaders on Wednesday to provide suppliers with relief to address what it said was a liquidity crisis facing small and large parts companies. Read more here.

Toyota, VW, Subaru Join Other Automakers Suspending Production

According to Automotive News, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Subaru on Thursday joined the parade of U.S. automakers suspending their production operations – at least temporarily – because of the coronavirus and the impact it's having on new auto sales. Toyota Motor North America announced on Thursday afternoon that it will suspend production at all of its North American assembly and component plants beginning Monday, March 23, though at least April 5, with production tentatively scheduled to resume Monday, April 6. Earlier in the day, Volkswagen of America said it is halting production at the plant from Saturday until at least the evening of March 29. The Chattanooga plant builds the Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport crossovers as well as the Volkswagen Passat sedan. Also Thursday, Subaru of Indiana Automotive, Subaru Corp.'s lone manufacturing facility in North America, said it would shut down vehicle production for one week starting on Monday, March 23. Read more here. 

Automakers Look to Become Arsenal of Health and Build Ventilators

General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, as well as Tesla Inc. and other automakers are exploring the possibility of producing ventilators at their plants after speaking with governments in Europe and the United States, reports The Detroit News. Experts predict that if diagnoses of the respiratory illness surge, hospitals could face a shortage of the medical devices that help people to breathe in severe cases. Detroit automakers say they are looking at producing ventilators to aid the coronavirus pandemic. But health-care expert say the medical devices are highly sophisticated, and it can take years to get FDA approval. "We do right now need ventilators and personal protective equipment for our health-care workers if we're going to effectively manage this pandemic," said Ruthanne Sudderth, senior vice president of public affairs and advocacy for the Michigan Health & Hospital Association. "Michigan has a strong and rich manufacturing history. The MHA is supportive of any and all partners willing to provide any medical supplies and equipment." Read more here. 


Around the Web

2021 Hyundai Elantra Will Get Sporty N Line Variant [MotorAuthority] 

Every Automaker That Offers Incentives, Loan Support in Pandemic [Car and Driver

Coronavirus Has Florida Car Dealers Bracing for Fallout [Tampa Bay Times] 

Porsche Plans to Keep Growing, But Rules Out Custome Ultra-Low Production Models [Autoblog]