Motorcycle dealerships can sell again from today
Story: Donovan Fourie
After six weeks of lockdown due to the COVID-19 outbreak, motorcycle importers, dealerships and service centres can again resume business after an announcement from the department of trade, industry and competition (DTIC) on Tuesday evening. Dealerships will be able to sell and trade-in new and used motorcycles and do emergency services and repairs. Wholesale of motorcycles may also resume as can motorcycle importation, motorcycle auctions can again commence and testing stations will also re-open.
However, the return to business comes under restrictions that will lighten over three phases. Here is a summary:
Phase one (13 to 23 May): dealerships may run with a maximum of 30% staff in the store at one time. There will also be restrictions on the number of salespeople and customers in the store based on the size of the showroom floor. With that, deals must happen remotely, interacting either online or telephonically with physical interaction kept to a minimum. Where possible, signatures must be done electronically. Test rides by appointment only. Deliveries of new motorcycles and collections of trade-ins at people’s homes is compulsory. Motorcycle auctions may again commence but must be done remotely via a video feed. Workshop activities such as emergency repairs, overdue services and tyre changes may also resume.
Phase two (23 May to 6 June): dealerships may increase staff to 60% with more interaction with customers allowed.
Phase three (6 June to whenever Level 4 lockdown ends): staff numbers may raise to 100%, and customers may collect their new motorcycles at the dealership.
With each phase, dealerships will be required to follow strict hygiene regulations and follow social distancing rules. The opening of dealerships makes sense because they are do not have a high flow of people through them – far less than Checkers on a Saturday morning, certainly.
The re-opening of motorcycle dealers comes as a huge relief to the entire industry that has ground to a near halt during the lockdown period. Businesses have had huge cashflow issues, and we have even seen the likes of the long-standing Harley-Davidson JHB dealership being pushed into liquidation.
For customers interesting in new motorcycles or having their motorcycles serviced, please contact your local dealership by telephone or email to make arrangements before riding through.