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Area car dealerships still open for business

Photo by Scott McCloskey Straub Automotive’s sales representatives Kylie Howard and Bill Gibbs demonstrate the dealership’s recently launched online “express store.”

WHEELING — While showroom walk-in traffic has slowed for area car dealerships in the wake of the on-going coronavirus outbreak, they are still open for business with dealers also offering customers a chance to peruse cars through online shopping options

Straub Automotive General Manager Kevin Cook said the dealership near The Highlands is currently experiencing a lot more online traffic.

“Obviously business has been affected by it some. We’ve seen a slow down in floor traffic, but fortunately the customers who have come in have used good judgment. Everyone is being smart. Social distancing is something that all of our customers and employees are practicing,” Cook explained.

When asked about if customers are still test driving vehicles, Cook said, “Really and truly, test driving the automobile hasn’t changed. What has changed is we’re seeing a lot more of our online traffic pick up, our internet leads have picked up, our phone leads have picked up, and since we have launched our express store, apparently a lot of our customers are taking advantage of the entire buying process online,” Cook explained. “We can actually allow our customers to buy a vehicle completely 100% online from start to finish and then we will deliver that vehicle to their home,” he added.

Moving forward, they continue to sanitize everything.

“It looks like our government has a 15-day plan,” Cook said. “We’re following that very closely and we’re using common sense and good judgment everyday and we’re just depending on our customers and employees to do the same.”

Cook said dealership continues to do everything they can to make it as easy as as possible on each and every customer of the Straub Automotive Group.

“As far as service customers go, we offer both pick-up and delivery. We have loaner and rental cars available if needed,” Cook said.

Doan Ford General Manager Steve Mercer said while their walk-in sales is currently down, people are still coming by their Morristown lot to look at vehicles and they continue to shop online. Mercer said because people are still driving their cars they still need access to service.

“Our service and body (shop) departments are steady,” he commented.

In addition he said they have a cleaning staff who cleans and sanitize things on a regular basis. He said they also installed sanitizing wipes throughout the dealership.

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