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A glimmer of hope as Volvo dealerships open for business.

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Following the publication of a Government Gazette detailing directives for motor vehicle dealerships to operate under Level 4 of lockdown, Volvo Car South Africa has announced that dealerships will open from Thursday, May 14.

They will operate under extremely strict conditions. “First and foremost our concern is for the health and safety of our customers and staff. We are doing everything possible to minimise any risk of Covid-19 transmission,” stresses Greg Maruszewski, Managing Director of Volvo Car South Africa.

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Customers will be required to make appointments for servicing and repairs to their vehicles. This will spread the workshop traffic and prevent queuing.

When the vehicle does arrive at the dealership, it will be sanitised immediately. All contact areas within the vehicle (steering wheel, indicator stalks, for instance) will be covered in plastic.

In order to make any customer interaction as efficient as possible, Volvo is amplifying the use of built-in smart car tech. Dealership diagnostic WIFI for instance, will be used by personal service technicians (PSTs) to remotely diagnose cars that arrive in order to establish if they need to enter the workshop. The dealership technology enables a PST to simultaneously connect wirelessly to five cars, in the parking lot, while diagnosing and transmitting software downloads.

As far as possible, Volvo will be going contactless in all dealerships. While dealerships will be thoroughly sanitised, customers won’t be required to touch anything, this includes signing of documentation when checking in a car. And, before delivery, all documentation will be sent to the customer digitally for a pre-read. Touch-free payment options will also be on offer.

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Before the customer takes delivery of the vehicle, it will be thoroughly sanitised. Exterior features that will be sanitised include the door handles, door frames and luggage compartment handles. Interior features that will be cleaned and disinfected include the air-conditioner, armrests, buttons and switches, centre display, door handles, glovebox, rear-view mirror, safety belts, service booklet, shift knob, steering wheel and ventilation knobs. Even the key will be sanitised.

World-leading social distancing and hygiene measures will be employed throughout the dealerships. For instance, clear signage will limit the movement of customers in the confines of the business premises and especially within the workshop areas. Demarcations on the floors and barriers will remind customers and staff of social distancing. Beverages will be served exclusively in single-use cups and only sealed or wrapped food will be offered to customers.

Preventative measures for the PSTs working on the cars include daily temperature readings, the compulsory wearing of masks and gloves and ongoing sanitisation of the working area. Naturally, all tools will also be sanitised regularly. Furthermore, tools will not be shared (each PST will have his own set).

All Volvo dealerships will be open from Thursday 14 May 2020.

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