The delivery dilemma

  13 April 2020

car delivery

It’s a dilemma. Should retailers be delivering cars that have been sold online (or indeed in showrooms before ‘all this’ kicked off)?

On the one hand, you could argue that you can get just about everything else you’ve bought online delivered to home, so why not cars? Provided the guidelines on staying safe are followed, where’s the issue?

Indeed, last week, the BVRLA called for the vehicle supply to be maintained, going as far as to call it ‘essential’.

“The Government has made it very clear that it wants ‘all supply chains’ to continue ‘to the greatest extent possible’ during the COVID-19 outbreak,” said BVRLA chief executive, Gerry Keaney.

“This includes vehicle logistics, and not just cars and vans that are being delivered to essential workers. By getting these vehicles moving, we are not only helping the Covid-19 response, we are also ensuring that businesses and individuals can pick-up where they left off as soon as the lockdown ends.”

However, as Daksh Gupta pointed out in the most recent Auto Retail Live, the government guidance used by the BVRLA stops short of saying car dealers should be delivering cars to customers’ homes.

The government may want as much of business to remain operational as possible, but far more important is the safety of people’s lives.

And that is, for the time being, the most important point.

With the exception that we need to keep our key workers mobile, just because we could deliver cars to customers (with the right safety procedures in place), does not mean we should deliver cars. Right now, it sends the wrong message; it’s encouraging non-essential travel.

Let’s hope the situation changes soon, but I suspect the only way there’s going to be an improvement in business is if we first have an improvement in the health of the nation.


Tristan Young

Editorial director

Auto Retail Network

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