There is finally some good news on the horizon for the battered Victorian automotive industry, following a state government announcement that Victoria's automotive retail and service sectors will reopen almost immediately.
From Wednesday 28 October, all automotive businesses will be open to the public, as long as each workplace operates with a COVID-safe plan in place.
This means customers can now visit dealerships to purchase a new car and attend service centres to have work completed.
This news comes on the back of the Victorian government’s advice which is to switch from ‘stay home’ to ‘stay safe’.
It’s news that the Victorian Automotive Chamber of Commerce (VACC) welcomes wholeheartedly, with VACC CEO Geoff Gwilym saying “the automotive industry is primed and ready for opening."
"VACC has provided its members with exhaustive information, including assisting with COVID-safe plans, creating communication templates, and resources for staff and customers,” he said in a statement.
Without getting too far ahead, the VACC insists that it’s extremely important to remain vigilant. Every Victorian business – automotive or not – must adhere to the following principles:
- Ensure physical distancing
- Wear a face mask
- Practice good hygiene
- Keep records and act quickly
- Avoid prolonged interactions in enclosed spaces
Workers are no longer required to hold a permit (unless employee travelling from metro Melbourne to rural, and vice versa) as long as the 25km radius rule is followed.
The shuttering of the automotive retail sector has had a detrimental impact on the local car industry, which is only now showing signs of an uptick after barriers to purchasing are pulled back.
Victoria remains the worst affected state, experiencing a 57.7 per cent September sales slump compared to this time last year.