How dealerships are changing the way they serve customers through coronavirus pandemic

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Car dealerships across KELOLAND are still open and serving customers in both sales and service departments, but many are making some big changes to keep shoppers and their employees safe. 

“There has been a big shift to online. Our sales have stayed very solid, our customers are very loyal. People see how serious we’re taking it here,” Mike Schulte with Schulte Subaru said.

Schulte Subaru is still busy with sales this spring, but their showroom looks very different right now.

“We’ve taken all of the city’s and the governor’s requests very serious. We actually are at the 20 percent occupancy level. So how we’re doing that is we took as many people as possible and set them up at home, then everyone else is on a rotating schedule,” Schulte said.

For the people who are in the building, Schulte is taking a lot of extra measures to make sure his staff is safe while serving customers here inside the dealership. They’ve installed plenty of hand sanitizers and they also clean and disinfect the building throughout their shifts. 

“We have a special cleaning crew that comes in at 6 o’clock in the morning that specializes in sterilization,” Schulte said.

“We’ve made a lot of changes on the showroom floor. We’ve taped off some areas trying to keep people 6 feet from our staff. We’re providing hand cleaner and Clorox wipes for everything. We wipe the bikes down three or four times a day,” Jim Entenman said.

J and L Harley Davidson is also making some big changes this spring to help customers find their perfect ride safely.

“We will do one-on-one sales meetings if they want, meet them before hours, during hours, after hours, if they want to demo a bike they’re very interested in, we’ll even take the motorcycle to them in the Sioux Falls metro area,” Entenman said.

Schulte is also doing at-home deliveries and pick ups for solo test drives and service, saying many people are taking advantage of this great time to buy.

“The manufacturer Subaru National has really stepped up to the plate and then the Schulte family has enhanced that even further,” Schulte said. “Its the best incentives I’ve seen since way back in cash for clunkers.”

Enteman says its also a busy time at J & L Harley where they have more new and used inventory in the showroom and its the busy season for servicing and repairing motorcycles that have been stored all winter. 

“Social distancing is perfect on a Harley Davidson motorcycle, just to get out and enjoy the fresh air,” Entenman said.

Both dealerships are also offering current  and new customers up to three month deferrals on their payments for leases or loans, working to help people temporarily out of work keep their vehicles up and running through the pandemic. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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