Despite sweeping changes to business operations in Australia, car dealers say that they will continue to welcome buyers.

THE AUTOMOTIVE industry will do its best to keep doors open at dealerships and new model cars entering the local market while Australia begins a staged lockdown of some services.

With new measures introduced this week that will see only ‘essential services’ remain operative during the coming months in a bid to contain the outbreak of Covid-19 virus in Australia, car dealers are saying that they will keep operating with lots open to walk-ins.

One source who operates a large dealer group told Practical Motoring that just over the last weekend, and despite dire lockdown warnings, there was an uptick in new car sales. Multiple brands including Hyundai, Suzuki, Kia, and even Holden (clearance) new vehicle stock were sold in multiple numbers, bucking the anticipated recession which has already begun to hit industries.

The dealer said that they fully expected to remain operational after prime minister Scott Morrison announced only essential services would stay open. The source added that the sentiment was shared across all new car dealers in Australia.

A spokesperson from Ford Australia added that all of its dealers were operational across the nation, though some procedures had been added to protect the health and safety of customers and staff.

“It’s business as usual at our dealers,” they said.

“There is one thing that changes, and that is the sanitation of vehicles to ensure that the potential of any contaminant in our cars is minimised. We have provided sanitisation kits and cleaning procedures for all staff to follow that will ensure vehicles remain hygienic and minimise impact from Coronavirus at our dealers.”

Ford added that it had already begun contacting customers and offering solutions to owners who might be financially affected. 

“Our partner myFord Finance is proactively reaching out to retail customers about ways they can support them. We’re also working closely with our dealer partners through this challenging time.”

Despite sales continuing, other aspects of the industry have had to change to suit social distancing stipulations, including the cancellation of model launches. Instead, new cars will enter the market and vehicles supplied directly to outlets for media coverage. Practical Motoring will remain on top of new car model launches, sourcing vehicles directly for review. Tune back in for more.

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Alex Rae

Alex Rae brings almost two decades’ experience, previously working at publications including Wheels, WhichCar, Drive/Fairfax,, AMC, Just Cars, and more.

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