Dear Dealer Partner,
As we continue to work through these challenging times together, I’m providing an update regarding our collective action to ask federal officials to include local dealer sales and leasing as “Essential Businesses” during the COVID-19 pandemic.
First and foremost, I want to say thank you. Since writing to you last week, I have been overwhelmed by the tremendous amount of support and comradery from our industry. In my letter to you, I asked that we work together to get franchise and independent dealers in the U.S. to call on the Department of Homeland Security to responsibly “Allow Safe Auto Sales.” I am proud to share that nearly 5,000 dealers across the country have submitted letters to the DHS through the Cars.com portal, a true reflection of the resilience and determination of our industry.
Our collective voices as an industry are making a difference. DHS updated its guidance on March 28 to add automotive leasing to the list of “Essential Workers” permitted to operate during the pandemic. The guidance also included the Department of Motor Vehicles as “Essential Workers” — two big wins. The updated guidance, however, did not include automotive sales. First thing Monday, March 30, our government relations team raised this issue with individuals at DHS who are now working on potential revisions to this guidance.
Automotive sales are critically important in ensuring the success of our country’s infrastructure, whether for first responders, medical personnel, grocery and pharmacy workers, or individuals needing to engage in essential travel, as they perform the vital tasks needed to maintain daily life during this difficult time. It also recognizes the franchise and independent dealers of America that make up the backbone of our economy and are essential to the long-term stability of the automotive industry as a whole.
We need to keep pushing. If you have not already, click here to submit your letter to the DHS. Share with your dealer friends so they can sign, too. And to further enforce the message, please send the letter on to your U.S. senators and members of Congress.
Cars.com will continue to work with you and for you on the frontlines each and every day, and we are dedicated to ensuring that we help you maintain your business now and for the long-term.
If needed, you can visit the CARS Cares website for a resource guide, including state-by-state government designations for auto dealers that includes information you need to help you navigate during this unprecedented time. We have also added a blog with information on how the CARES Act can assist dealers with Small Business Administration loans and other financial resources during this time.
Please know that you are making a difference, and your voices are being heard. The strength seen from across the country this week makes it very clear that you are resilient, and we will get through this together, even stronger than before.
President & CEO of CARS