ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on the auto industry, but customers can still get necessary repair work performed on their vehicles.
Universal Imports President Mark Fuerbacher discussed the impact of the virus on his industry Monday during News 8 at Noon.
Fuerbacher said people can get their cars fixed. “The good news is most service departments in the area are open. Most, like ours, are taking a lot of precautions. One of the things we’re doing is making sure cars are disinfected before they go in the shop, disinfecting them again before they return to the customer and we’re not really allowing people in the building. They’re calling us and we’re taking the appointments over the phone, getting their car in the shop, and then they can pay by phone and pick up without any human interaction which is really what most shops, I think, are doing with similar protocols.”
He said most parts are still easily available and most repairs aren’t being delayed significantly. Not many cars are being sold right now. “There are a lot of dealerships that are not doing car sales right now, however, they are providing personnel who are working from home or in the sales department who can answer your questions,” Fuerbacher said. “There are instances where if there’s a real need that a car can be sold, and some places are still operating as selling cars, although they’re using the same precautions that they do in service by expressing social distancing and limiting exposure to human interaction.”
Fuerbacher said it’s hard to determine what the long-range impact of COVID-19 will be on the auto industry. “It’s anybody’s guess, and in some cases, we hope that we’re just on a pause right now and when we get back to normal everybody will rush in and get their car fixed and buy cars although it may be slow going to get back to it. The car industry is definitely going to have to wake up slowly. There’s a lot of car companies who have stopped production of cars right now, so it’s going to be hard to say. It may be a year before we feel the effects of the cars that are available.”