Toronto, May 11, 2020 – As governments in some provinces move to reopen their economies, many Canadians want to know what steps companies are taking to help protect their customers from exposure to COVID-19.
While most car dealerships across Canada remained open throughout the pandemic to provide customers with essential vehicle servicing, the majority of the country’s sales showrooms have been closed since mid-March.
Now, as dealerships start to welcome back their customers, they have put extra cleaning protocols and new social distancing measures in place to help keep everyone safe.
“Our dealers appreciate the opportunity to reopen – but want to be sure they can do so safely, so they’ve set, as their minimum standard, the guidelines and best practices developed by the federal, provincial and municipal health authorities – as well as recommendations from their dealer associations,” said Cyril Dimitris, Vice-President, Sales and Marketing at Toyota Canada. “These include measures to minimize risk to employees as they do their jobs as well as customers visiting the dealer’s facility, as well as processes covering every aspect of buying a vehicle. In many cases, our dealers are exceeding standards set by health authorities.”
The dealers, he says, have been explaining the various safety measures to their teams to ensure everyone understands them. Toyota dealerships have been equipped with appropriate health and safety equipment and supplies – from hand sanitizer at the entrances and on desks and counters, to floor decals marking the two-metre social distancing measurement, to posters that emphasize social distancing and good hygiene. Workspaces and common areas are also being cleared of non-essential items such as newspapers, magazines and brochures.
Toyota’s Canadian dealerships have also reviewed common areas such as lunchrooms and waiting areas, making required adjustments to allow people to use these spaces while respecting physical distancing. In addition, new practices have been put in place to comply with the recommendations for surface cleaning provided by the health officials in each province.
Many Toyota dealers have even restructured their sales processes to protect the health of their customers and employees. For example:
- In Ontario, dealerships are operating on an appointment-only basis to minimize the number of people on the premises to ensure that proper physical distancing can be maintained.
- Dealers are promoting remote sales with better options for shopping online and enhanced digital tools.
- When in-person visits are required for sales or service, dealers are adopting best practices to provide a contactless experience, and are taking measures such as thoroughly cleaning vehicles before and after test drives.
“We know that many Canadians depend on their Toyota vehicle to get to work and for essential shopping trips – and if it’s time for a new vehicle, that decision often can’t wait,” said Dimitris. “We’re doing everything we can to make sure Canadians can shop for a new Toyota vehicle safely and comfortably.”
Whether a dealership is open and exactly how they are handling new vehicle sales is up to each individual dealer and may vary from province to province. For this reason, Dimitris encourages Toyota customers to contact their local dealer by phone or online before visiting in person.