Economy & Politics

The Autofestival will play extra time

If the concessions will respect two closing Sundays (as wanted by the government), automotive professionals have chosen to extend their offers until February 13.

Patrick JACQUEMOT

Patrick JACQUEMOT

If the concessions will respect two closing Sundays (as wanted by the government), automotive professionals have chosen to extend their offers until February 13.

Clearly, this 57th edition of the Autofestival is already experiencing many ups and downs before it even started. After having seen its initial duration extended (to economically support the sector), then feared an outright cancellation (with the stopping of so-called non-essential businesses), car salesmen did believe that the commercial highlight could finally take place without too much hassle.


Two weeks before the start of the automotive highlight, the dealerships have only one formula in their mouths: “health security”. Without this, the covid will quickly shower the ardor of possible buyers.


It was without counting on the announcement of the Ministry of the Middle Classes which, Thursday, prohibited any store opening during the sales period. So right at the same time as the period announced for the car promotions!

However, there is no question for professionals to derogate from this new obligation, which will prevent them from welcoming customers on Sundays, January 31 and February 7. By cons, smart, they intend to make up for this lost time. Also, on Friday, the Federation of Automobile Distributors (FEDAMO) announced that the Autofestival would not last from January 25 to February 8, but would continue “until February 13 inclusive (…) in order to allow anyone interested to discover new products in complete safety. ” Two days lost, one week gained in short.


On the eve of the Autofestival, dealers can only note the boom in sales of hybrid and electric models. An attraction carried by the (generous) aid “Clever fueren”.


And besides, there is no longer any question of wasting time, after 2019 which saw new car sales fall by 17.9% in Luxembourg. Also, the president of FEDAMO Philippe Mersch honks loud and clear that “the special conditions are already in force” at the dealers of the country. And this already according to the health protocol established by the profession to best receive customers.

The CLC angry too

And if the council of FEDAMO says it “regrets” the government decision, this is a shared position. Thus, hardly had Minister Lex Delles (DP) expressed his wish to let the shops close for the four Sundays of the sales when the CLC expressed its anger. For the Luxembourg trade confederation, this is an “incomprehensible choice and the health argument put forward cannot hold.” In the eyes of the Confederation, Sunday openings had the merit of “spreading the influx of customers over an additional day, thus reducing the average density of customers in shops”.

Beyond this aspect, the CLC fears that Luxembourgish customers will go to the open shops, these same Sundays, on the French side. The Moselle has thus authorized its shops to remain accessible every day of the week during the sales period.


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