Car dealerships in metropolitan Melbourne are getting ready to welcome customers for the first time in almost 90 days.

    Showrooms have been closed to customers since August 2, when Stage 4 restrictions to stop the spread of COVID-19 in metropolitan Melbourne were announced.

    Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews yesterday announced the state will “open up” from 11:59pm on October 27, meaning dealerships can be open for business from the morning of Wednesday, October 28 – and they’re understandably excited.

    “We’re very excited to welcome back guests to our showroom,” Dan Di Pietro, business manager at Mentone Toyota, told CarExpert.

    “We’ll spend today preparing, and have our doors open first thing tomorrow morning.”

    Geoff Gwilym, VACC CEO, said: “The automotive industry is primed and ready for opening.”

    “VACC has provided its members with exhaustive information, including assisting with COVIDSafe plans, creating communication templates, and resources for staff and customers.”

    Dealerships will need to practice social distancing, wear face masks, regularly sanitise their hands, and keep a log of the people who’ve visited their showroom.

    Car dealers were only open for essential maintenance (fixing potentially dangerous faults, recalls) when Stage 4 restrictions were first announced in August. Logbook (or scheduled) servicing has been allowed since September 16.

    New car sales in Victoria have plummeted during the Stage 4 lockdown. The state’s sales are down 32.6 per cent year-to-date, and dropped 57.7 per cent in September compared to the same month last year.

    Sales are down 20.5 per cent to date in 2020 Australia-wide.

    Scott Collie

    Scott Collie is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Scott studied journalism at RMIT University and, after a lifelong obsession with everything automotive, started covering the car industry shortly afterwards. He has a passion for travel, and is an avid Melbourne Demons supporter.

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