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NADA and Alliance Call on Trump Administration to Consider Dealerships Essential Businesses

Published March 18, 2020


On Tuesday, March 17, NADA and the Alliance for Automotive Innovation joined together in sending a letter to the Trump administration calling for the government to consider vehicle repair, maintenance and sales facilities as essential operations during the nation’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

COVID-19 has reached each of the country’s 50 states and the District of Columbia and will continue to impact American businesses nationwide. To date, a significant number of states and cities have taken emergency action to force the closure of businesses deemed “nonessential,” such as movie theatres, shopping malls and museums. By contrast, essential businesses, including healthcare facilities, pharmacies and grocery stories, are able to remain operational for Americans.

Given the lack of uniformity in how states and local municipalities taking action are classifying dealership sales, service and parts operations, NADA and the Alliance have requested that the U.S. government ensure that the nation’s motor vehicle fleet remains as safe and operational as possible by considering vehicle repair, maintenance and sales facilities as essential operations during the coronavirus outbreak.

In the joint letter, NADA President and CEO Peter Welch and Alliance for Automotive Innovation President and CEO John Bozzella wrote: “As our nation continues to confront the coronavirus’s challenges, we want to underscore the importance of ensuring that consumers have access to a safe and well-functioning motor vehicle fleet. Motor vehicles, both new and old, are critical to ensure that the public can get food and other necessities of life, as well as to continue to interact with one another in a manner consistent with public health officials’ recommendations.”

The letter went on to also highlight that vehicle repair and maintenance for the country’s medium- and heavy-duty trucks is equally as vital, given that these vehicles are a crucial component of the nation’s transportation infrastructure and in many ways are providing the U.S. a lifeline to everything from groceries to medical supplies.

“Given the importance of safe transportation in addressing the coronavirus outbreak, we have an obligation to ensure that motor vehicles remain safe and are properly maintained,” NADA and the Alliance continued. “To that end, it is vital that vehicle repair, maintenance and sales facilities be considered essential operations when federal, state and local officials impose certain requirements due to the coronavirus outbreak.”