Dealers Voice: Dealerships Aim to Keep People Moving
I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the people in Canada working on the front lines of this global pandemic.
I am sure that all readers share my sense of dread and disbelief over the spread of COVID-19 over the past few weeks. A disease that began in central China in December has, in just three months, affected more than 170 countries and territories around the world.
Every day, new cases of the disease and related developments are reported. Governments, hospitals, schools, businesses, organizations and individuals everywhere are scrambling to cope with this unprecedented health crisis.
First off, on behalf of the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association (TADA) and its 1,100 members across Ontario, I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the people in Canada working on the front lines of this global pandemic.
In particular, I’m referring to the health-care professionals — the doctors, nurses. paramedics and volunteers — who are putting themselves in harm’s way to assess and treat victims of COVID-19. These unsung heroes deserve our recognition and thanks.
When I think about our health-care professionals, I am reminded of the famous Winston Churchill quote from the Second World War: “Never was so much owed by so many to so few.”
Secondly, I would like to thank all federal, provincial and municipal government officials for their efforts in managing the crisis so far. They are doing an incredible job, under immense pressure, to ensure the public’s health and well-being.
It should be noted that governments, organizations and businesses are not operating from a standard playbook here. They are gathering information and making decisions “on the fly” and information is changing all the time.
Thirdly, I would like to thank the TADA’s executive director, Todd Bourgon, for his inspired leadership during this crisis, along with the board of directors and the TADA staff, who are providing important advice and resources to our dealer network.
In the past few weeks, I have spoken to many fellow dealers across the province, in an effort to better understand this evolving crisis and to share best practices. All dealerships are committed to maintaining a safe and healthy work environment for their employees and customers.
During this crisis, dealerships are committed to keeping people moving in their communities, providing repairs on vehicles that provide essential services such as transporting patients to hospitals and medical facilities, delivering meals and getting people to work.
My best advice to car owners is to contact your new car dealership to inquire about hours of operation and how to obtain the service that you require.
At my Ford dealership in Kirkland Lake, if a customer would rather not visit us in person, we will pick their vehicle up at their home and bring it to our store for service or repair work. Other dealers are doing the same.
If you suspect that you might have contracted COVID-19, please do not visit a dealership or any other public space, whether it’s a grocery store, a restaurant, government office or business. Seek professional advice on the best course of action, and minimize your contact with others.
In times of crisis, a country is defined by how well it cares for its most vulnerable citizens. Canada is a kind and generous country, and I am encouraged by the many random acts of kindness that have been reported in the media of late. If you can help a friend, a neighbour or a loved one in their time of need, please do so.
Finally, there are some basic protective measures everyone can take against COVID-19, according to the World Health Organization. These include:
• wash your hands frequently;
• maintain social distancing;
• avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth;
• practice respiratory hygiene;
• if you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early;
• stay informed and follow advice given by your health-care provider.
This column represents the views and values of the TADA. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org or go to tada.ca. Cliff Lafreniere is president of the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association and is president of Pinewood Park Motors (Ford) in Kirkland Lake. For information about automotive trends and careers, visit carsandjobs.com.