Economy & Politics

The “cautious” restart of concessions

With the second phase of deconfinement, effective since May 11, the showrooms are slowly coming back to life. But the covid-19 crisis will not be erased without leaving losses which are currently difficult to quantify according to professionals in the sector.

With the second phase of deconfinement, effective since May 11, the showrooms are slowly coming back to life. But the covid-19 crisis will not be erased without leaving losses which are currently difficult to quantify according to professionals in the sector.

(DH) – “Everyone is now very happy to be able to work again”, welcomes Frank Lentz, director of legal affairs for the Federation of Automobile Distributors and Mobility (Fedamo), a week after the reopening of showrooms . “But it is a restart that I would call cautious,” he stresses, measuring the impact of the covid-19 crisis on a sector that has flourished in recent years. A sector which benefits in particular from an attractive showcase with the Autofestival, the high mass of the automobile during which 20% of the sales of the year are carried out in two weeks, as well as the support of the State in case of purchase of vehicles with ecological motorizations.

Even if Luxembourg does not have any automobile factory on its territory, the health crisis paralyzed the whole automobile market, considered as “non essential” on March 16, except emergency services intended to allow the mobility of people , companies and services essential to national activity. Thus, according to the federation of car manufacturers and importers in Luxembourg (Febiac), the month of March, with 2,798 new registrations, shows a decline of 50% compared to last year.

Reduced to the year, and following a record year, the decline could be 19.9%. Or a forecast identical to that communicated recently in Belgium by Traxio, the Belgian Federation of automotive trades. “At the moment, and for lack of figures, we cannot quantify the losses,” said Frank Lentz of Fedamo. “The positive element of the past week, however, remains that customers are back in dealerships. Sales were carried out in compliance with health regulations. ”

Indeed, as with all businesses, strict hygiene rules and distancing measures have been adopted by the entire profession. This is the case at Goedert where entry management remains a priority or even in the Muzzolini garage in Esch-sur-Alzette which disinfects all contact points: doors, steering wheel, gear lever knob and changes the covers of the seats in each test.

In addition, due to the covid-19 crisis, dealerships have taken care to improve their online offers and services to encourage the purchase of a new car or to monitor the maintenance of their vehicle. . This is how payments can be made online and a code is issued to open a night safe and collect the keys.

From now on, the sector hopes that the recovery will be sufficient to compensate for the sixty days of confinement. It remains to know the fate of stocks of unsold vehicles because, according to Febiac, “there then arises the problem of the deadlines of certain European regulations relating to new technical requirements”. And in particular the highly contested new standard for measuring CO2 emissions (WLTP). Announced for March 1, this measure remains postponed for the time being.

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