Dealerships adjust how to sell cars during COVID-19 outbreak

Published 10:00 am Saturday, March 28, 2020

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While people are being told to stay home, buying or working on a car usually isn’t one of the first things that jump into people’s minds. But the dealerships in Chambers County are still open and continuing to serve their patrons.

“We’re here and we’re here for the people,” Langley Buick GMC owner Mac Langley said. “We’re playing it safe for our employees as well as our customers.”

Car buying is one of those businesses that has become easier to do online or over the phone.

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For the most part, both dealerships are trying to get customers to shop online. Both have ways they can sell cars without a customer even leaving their house.

At King Ford, customers can choose the make and model they want and King will overnight the paperwork to the customer’s house. Once they receive the paperwork, a King employee can drive the car to that house and give the key to the new owner.

“There’s never any interaction as far as shaking hands or being as close as we are. That’s been our message to the public that we will come to you,” King Ford General Manager Richard Harrison said.

Langley’s website has the same fundamental idea, which allows customers to buy their vehicles online.

But one part of the experience is being able to actually drive test drive the car, which obviously must be done in person. For those customers, both Langley and King have taken extra precautions.

Langley makes sure that the car is wiped down before the customer gets into the car, and they will do the same after the customer is done driving the car. King does the same thing.

At both dealerships, employees are making sure everything is cleaned several times a day. Langley is usually disinfecting everything from bathrooms to counters and handles every couple of hours.

“We’ve certainly changed the way we’re doing cleanliness. We’re making it safe for employees and our customers,” Langley said.