Following the government’s new measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 (23 March), the IAAF has gained clarification from government that businesses in the automotive aftermarket supplying garages, namely motor factors and suppliers, can remain open.
On the subject of retail closures, the government announced the forced closure of all non-essential retail outlets, however, garages are exempt from the closures but showrooms will be expected to close.
While the government, under new social distancing measures, is requiring people to stay at home, motor factors can stay open in order to supply workshops who continue to support logistics providers, local councils, blue light services and key workers, ensuring that the necessary parts, tools and information remain available to them.
Individual businesses will have to make their own commercial decisions as to how they can respond to the new social distancing measures, but the government has clearly highlighted the importance of ongoing service, repair and MOTs of emergency vehicles and those of key workers and services.
Parts distributors that offer a trade counter service should adhere to the strict government social distancing measures implemented throughout all essential services, however retail counters should close. One IAAF parts distributor member is now operating a ‘one in – one out’ trade counter policy in order to comply with social distancing guidelines.
Wendy Williamson, IAAF Chief Executive, said: “The government has clearly identified the important role the automotive aftermarket supply chain plays in people’s mobility. While motor factors, suppliers and garages can stay open, it is essential that businesses follow NHS and government guidelines to protect the health, safety and well-being of employees and customers.”
In recent days, IAAF has issued letters to a number of government departments, including the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, urging for more help for the entire automotive aftermarket supply chain.