With the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic hitting the U.S. many franchised dealerships have questions about how to prepare and respond in their towns based on shelter-in-place and non-essential business shutdowns. Dealer News Today is offering regional information to help dealers navigate their operations during this unprecedented time.
Regions are organized from East to West. Each region is alphabetical by state.
New England Region
Connecticut – Connecticut state Governor clearly designated the state’s service and repair departments as “essential,” however this is subject to change. Connecticut Automotive Retailers Association has a list of resources for dealerships state-wide.
Maine – Maine’s governor strongly urged non-essential public-facing businesses, such as gyms, hair salons, theatres, casinos, shopping malls, to close their doors for the next two weeks to minimize public gatherings. View executive order for information.
Massachusetts – Most recent executive order states that businesses that do not provide essential services amidst the outbreak are to remain closed and remote with no physical contact.
New Hampshire – Non-essential businesses to close March 27-May 4, 2020 effective 11:59 PM on March 27. According to New Hampshire’s Automobile Dealer Association, the impact on dealers and service department is unclear. Follow NHADA for updates.
Rhode Island – A signed an executive order directed all recreational and entertainment businesses to close until further notice.
Vermont – According to the state’s executive orders, effective Wednesday, March 25, 2020, all businesses and not-for-profit entities in the state shall suspend in-person business operations.
Delaware – Automobile dealers are not to remain open until further notice. A full list is detailed here.
Maryland – Dealerships are explicitly allowed to remain open to the general public. Link to most recent PDF from WANADA.
New Jersey – The state’s Governor’s latest Executive Order specifically identifies auto dealerships as essential businesses, but limits operations to service ONLY. NJCar has all of the guidelines and regulations for dealers in the state.
New York – Under the “essential business” guidance, dealers may sell vehicles to essential businesses only. “These sales can be made through dealers at the dealership by appointment only, and only necessary employees may be present to complete the sale to the essential business.” NYSADA has the information here.
Pennsylvania – Automotive Repair/Maintenance as well as Parts are listed as “May Continue Physical Operations.” For sales, automobile dealers/other Motor Vehicle Dealers may not continue physical operations. The Pennsylvania Automotive Association has ever-changing information on their website.
Virginia – As of 3/24, the state is permitting service and sales departments to remain open at Virginia’s franchised new car and truck dealerships. The Virginia Automobile Dealer’s Association is constantly updating its information as it changes.
Washington D.C. – Dealerships are explicitly allowed to remain open to the general public. Link to most recent PDF from WANADA.
West Virginia – Dealerships as of this moment are considered “essential” and permitted to operate as usual, with staff who can work from home to do so. WVADA is constantly updating its information.
Great Lakes Region
Illinois – Stay at Home Order in place. Auto Supply and Repair are Essential Services. Dealers are permitted to conduct sales by appointment only. Visit the IADA’s website for more info.
Indiana – Stay at Home Order in place. Auto Supply and Repair are Essential Services.
Michigan – Stay at Home Order in place. Auto Supply and Repair are Essential Services. As of 3/24, sales are not permitted. Visit the MADA Coronavirus Toolkit for more info.
Minnesota – Stay at Home Order in place. “Motor vehicle repairs and limited sales” are permitted. Visit the MADA COVID-19 page for more info.
Ohio – Stay at Home Order in place. Auto Supply and Repair are Essential Services. Sales may be permitted by local authorities. Visit OADA’s Coronavirus page for more info.
Wisconsin – Safer at Home Order in place. Auto, motorcycle and truck dealers classified as Essential Operations and may remain open. Visit WATDA’s Coronavirus Information page for more info.
Alabama – The City of Birmingham is under a Shelter in Place Order until 4/3. It’s unclear if dealerships can operate as normal. It does say that nonessential businesses may remain open if they take precautions. Please consult local authorities for more info.
Florida – No statewide order exists. Effective 3/26, certain counties are under Stay at Home Orders including Miami-Dade, Orange, Pinellas and others. Visit FLADA’s Dealership Guidance page for more info.
Georgia – Executive Order prohibits businesses from operating if groups of 10 or more cannot remain 6’ apart. Dealers can continue to operate sales and service if compliant. Visit GADA’s COVID-19 Information page.
Kentucky – Healthy at Home Order (pdf) issued 3/25. Auto repair and auto supply, and related services may remain open. Unclear if this permits dealerships to continue to perform sales.
Mississippi – Consult local officials to determine what is permissible. State orders have been very broad with individual cities creating their own determinations based on the best welfare of their citizens.
North Carolina – Some businesses closed effective 3/25, but auto, truck and RV dealerships are not part of the list of businesses being asked to close. Visit NCADA’s COVID-19 Update page for more info.
South Carolina – Charleston and Columbia have issued Stay at Home Orders. SCADA is emailing members about updates. Check their Facebook page for more info.
Tennessee – Consult local officials to determine what is permissible. State has issued Alternative Business Model mandates for some businesses. Some individual counties have issued Safer at Home Orders.
Arkansas – Normal operations with protective measures.
Oklahoma – City of Norman is under Stay at Home order (pdf). State has issued “Safer at Home” for “vulnerable populations”.
Texas – Decisions to issue Stay at Home orders are up to individual counties and each county order is different. Dallas-Ft Worth, Houston and San Antonio are all under Stay at Home orders as of 3/26. The TADA encourages dealers to speak to their local officials about defining dealerships as essential businesses.
Iowa – No Stay at Home order in place yet, but more retail places were ordered closed on 3/26. Until a formal order is issued, normal operations with protective measures continue. Contact IADA for guidance.
Kansas – Several counties have Stay at Home orders in place. Auto repair and supply are permitted to stay open as Essential Businesses. Kansas Dept of Motor Vehicles is closed through April 3. Visit KADA’s update page for more info.
Missouri – St. Louis and Kansas City are both on Stay at Home orders along with other counties. Auto repair and supply are permitted to stay open as Essential Businesses. Visit The Missouri Times for specifics by county.
Nebraska – Normal operations with protective measures.
North Dakota – Normal operations with protective measures.
South Dakota – Normal operations with protective measures.
Montana – Normal operations with protective measures.
Utah – Summit County (Park City/Coalville) is under Stay at Home order (pdf). Auto Supply and Auto Repair deemed Essential Service by the County. All other areas are at normal operations.
Wyoming – Normal operations with protective measures.
Alaska – Consult local officials to determine what is permissible. Anchorage and Juneau have issued Hunker Down Orders (pdf). Auto Repair and Auto Supply deemed Critical Businesses.
Arizona – Auto Repair and Auto Supply deemed Essential Businesses and Operations. AZ Executive Order (pdf). Permissibility of sales is unclear.
California – Service is Essential Business; Sales permissibility varies. Here’s CNCDA.org’s C-19 Resource Page for more info.
Hawaii – Stay at Home Order (pdf) in place. Auto Repair and Auto Supply deemed Essential Businesses. Permissibility of sales is unclear.
Idaho – Auto Repair and Auto Supply deemed Essential Businesses. ID Dept of Health & Welfare Order (pdf) – Sales not permitted
Nevada – Auto Supply, Auto Repair and Tire Shops deemed Essential Businesses. NV Dept of Public Safety (pdf). Permissibility of sales is unclear. Language under non-essential businesses leaves some ambiguity as to online/delivery sales.
New Mexico – Modified operations based on March 19 Order. NMADA advises (pdf) implementing social distancing and limited operations to comply with State Gov’t Order of “Typical Business Environments”
Oregon – Sales and Service permitted – must maintain 6ft social distancing at all times and comply with all health and safety orders – Most recent Executive Order (pdf)
Washington – Repair deemed Essential Service – WA Definitions of Essential Workers (pdf) – Sales not permitted
Gallagher’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic Preparedness site is an information hub that includes links to videos, compliance resources, FAQ’s, business continuity best practices, employee communication samples, and other guidance for HR and employee benefits.
For up-to-the-minute industry news for dealers, visit our Daily Drive, which highlights the latest resources for dealers and decision makers.
For input from key industry professionals, visit our Industry Insider.
For the most up-to-date information, visit the CDC: COVID-19 CDC Resource
State-by-state information: Health Department Information by State