Dealerships adjusting amid Covid-19, Uptick in online shopping


EUREKA, Calif. (KIEM)- As car dealerships begin to re-open their doors, customers may notice changes aimed at keeping them safe.

Due to covid-19 concerns car shoppers may not even have to visit the lot to check out a new vehicle.

Liz Bagnell is a sales consultant for Northwood Chevrolet in Eureka.

“We’ve definitely still seen quite a few people coming in asking questions people are still buying vehicles,” said Bagnell.  

But when it comes to how people buy them, well, let’s just say instead of stopping by a showroom, the showroom comes to you just by the stroke of a keyboard.

“Even though we don’t have as much foot traffic, we have a huge online platform that is bringing a lot of customers,” said Bagnell.

Co-owner of Bob’s Fine Cars, Peter Crivello agrees.

“And now people kind of come in and they know specifically what car you have and they say I am here to look at car, or that car and that is kind of how it goes we get a lot more online inquiries,” he said.

And because more people seem to shop online for their next big purchase…it helps prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Both dealerships say, buying online does require a quick in-person visit.

“As far as paperwork, it’s not legally binding unless you are here in the dealership and sign the papers physically,” said Bagnell.   

Other measures include a thorough wipe down of the dealerships with disinfectant, face coverings.

As far as test drives, dealerships no allow customers to do test drives without a sales consultant.

It’s all about keeping their customers safe.  

“As far as like getting in and out of their cars, I try to avoid that as much as possible at all cost as I can. It’s not just to protect me. I certainly can get affected I just don’t want to transmit to the people that are more vulnerable.”

The dealerships we spoke to say their service department has seen steady business and are operating during normal business hours.