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Dealership Coronavirus Resources

Updated 5-19-20

CNCDA Members can access more detailed compliance guidance and materials via CNCDA Comply related to:
– Vehicle Sales
– Health Requirements
– Employees
– Government Benefits
– Forms and Notices
– Vehicle Registration
– Franchise Issues

Operations

The State of California and various local jurisdictions have issued orders that greatly impact dealership operations. Copied below is an outline summarizing this information.

Statewide Operation and Health Requirements. All dealerships in California should review and implement the statewide guidance on COVID-19 dealership operations. (Click here.) All dealerships should post a copy of the state COVID-19 checklist to demonstrate that they are reducing the risk and are open for business. (Click here.)

Local Health Requirements. Cities and counties throughout California have adopted restrictions on business operations that are designed to promote public safety. These restrictions vary, but they include face mask, employee screening and social distancing requirements. Most dealerships in California will need to implement and post the social distancing protocol required in their local jurisdiction. LA County dealers should note that they must implement a dealership-specific reopening health protocol. (Click here.) For the most current information, visit your local jurisdiction’s website.

The following is an outline of the status of in-person vehicle sales in California as of May 18:

Vehicle Sales in California, Generally. With the notable exception of the Bay Area jurisdictions noted below, California dealerships can conduct in-person vehicle sales. Showrooms may be open to customers, but occupancy may not exceed 50% of maximum, and state and local health requirements must be observed. Los Angeles County dealerships should note that as of May 8, in-person vehicle sales are permitted with adherence to distancing and infection control protocols. (Click here to access the LA County dealership reopening protocol.)

Bay Area Limitations. During the week of May 18, counties throughout the Bay Area have issued revised shelter-in-place orders. Most of these orders continue to restrict vehicle sales to outdoor or online operations. However, the San Mateo County order is more permissive, as it provides that “any business that the State of California has identified as an essential critical infrastructure sector … can resume operations.” (Click here.) This provides dealerships in San Mateo County with a good faith basis to resume vehicle sales in their showrooms, so long as statewide and local health requirements are observed.

Dealerships in the Bay Area locations identified below can engage in-person sales if they qualify as an “outdoor business.” For retail businesses (such as auto dealerships), an “outdoor business” is a business where “more than 50% of the total floor area regularly used for product sales was outdoors prior to March 16, 2020.” (See Page 30 of SF Order FAQ, click here.) If a Bay Area dealership decides to reopen for in-person vehicle sales, all business and transactions involving members of the public must be done in outdoor spaces where social distancing between all persons can be observed.

  • Alameda County
  • Contra Costa County
  • Marin County
  • San Francisco County
  • Santa Clara County
  • City of Berkeley

City of Fresno Limitations. On May 11, dealerships in the City of Fresno may begin in-person sales. Showrooms are subject to strict occupancy limits. (Click here.) Until May 11, sales must occur electronically with remote deliveries. (Click here.)

Online Sales and Remote Deliveries. All dealerships in California may sell vehicles electronically and deliver them to essential businesses and to customer residences. Earlier this week, the DMV issued a memorandum on online sales, which you can access here.

Service and Parts Sales. All jurisdictions allow dealerships to operate their service and parts departments, so long as appropriate health and safety requirements are in place.

Dealers should note that there continues to be substantial confusion on vehicle sales at the local level. In the event you receive an order to shut down, you should follow it. However, you may want maintain copies of the state order and present such documents to law enforcement to show them that you are operating in compliance with the state order. Please note that this will not protect you if you operate in a jurisdiction covered by a local order that restricts vehicle sales, discussed above.

Health Department Requirements

Statewide Operation and Health Requirements. All dealerships in California should review and implement the statewide guidance on COVID-19 dealership operations. (Click here.) All dealerships should post a copy of the state COVID-19 checklist to demonstrate that they are reducing the risk and are open for business. (Click here.)

Local Health Requirements. Cities and counties throughout California have adopted restrictions on business operations that are designed to promote public safety. These restrictions vary, but they include face mask, employee screening and social distancing requirements. Most dealerships in California will need to implement and post the social distancing protocol required in their local jurisdiction. LA County dealers should note that they must implement a dealership-specific reopening health protocol. (Click here.) For the most current information, visit your local jurisdiction’s website.

Some protocols (such as the Bay Area protocols) require businesses to adopt a procedure to check for symptoms of employees prior to them entering the work space. Fine, Boggs, and Perkins LLP has developed an Employee Symptom Check and Privacy Notice form, which can be accessed on their website under the “Legal Updates” tab.

CNCDA Assistance

CNCDA began remote operations on Tuesday, March 17, 2020. Since this time, CNCDA staff has been in continuous contact with local and state officials on issues involving coronavirus and your business. Our legal hotline (916-441-2599) continues to operate and staff is fully accessible by phone or email to our members. And we are continuously developing compliance resources (such as this website and daily alerts) to help our members during this difficult time.

This website is designed to provide California new motor vehicle dealerships with resources on issues involving the coronavirus (COVID-19). CNCDA will use its best efforts to continue to update this website, but this situation is rapidly evolving. Please also note that the materials on this website are for educational purposes, and are not intended as legal advice. For legal advice, contact competent counsel. For the most current information, please visit government websites for your jurisdiction or call CNCDA at 916-441-2599.

Media contact: Jenny Dudikoff, 916-599-5415

CNCDA is working to continuously provide our members with the most up to date information on the coronavirus as it pertains to dealerships.

Visit our Dealership Coronavirus Resources webpage for more information.

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