Some dealers are one bad month away from landing in financial jeopardy, and most aren’t prepared to pay their employees during a shutdown, said Cory Mosley, an auto retail and crisis management consultant.
“People lose sight of the fact that dealers are small businesses,” he said. “They think they are the billion-dollar car dealer, and many of them are not.”
Jeff Forman, pre-owned sales consultant at Bob Jeannotte Buick-GMC in Plymouth, Mich., has reported to work as usual. But every day, he worries about catching the virus.
“I can see possibly if service has to be open because of somebody breaking down or needing to have repairs,” Forman said, but dealers shouldn’t keep their showrooms open just “to generate a buck.”
The store has taken extra precautions to prevent spread of the virus, such as limiting lunchroom capacity to four people, deep cleaning and ensuring all employees have hand sanitizer. But Forman is 60 and has an underlying health condition. “I feel like I shouldn’t even…