NIADA Applauds Addition of Auto Sales as Essential
Association Calls on State and Local Leaders to Follow Updated Federal Guidelines
Arlington, Texas (April 17, 2020)
- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency added vehicle sales to its list of essential services to remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The agency amended its guidance document on the essential critical infrastructure workforce today, including "workers critical to the manufacturing, distribution, sales, rental, leasing, repair and maintenance of vehicles and other transportation equipment, including electric vehicle charging stations, and the supply chains that enable these operations to facilitate continuity of travel-related operations for essential workers."
The National Independent Automobile Dealers Association, which had called for auto sales to be deemed essential in a March 24 letter to President Trump, praised CISA's decision.
"Transportation is absolutely essential, and our industry can serve the needs of those on the front lines of our efforts to vanquish the virus," NIADA CEO Steve Jordan said. "We are thrilled that CISA and the Administration have expanded the list of essential services to include vehicle sales, especially as communities are beginning to come together to re-open the economy.
"Independent auto dealers are ready to assist health care workers, emergency responders, infrastructure workers, delivery drivers and others who are performing vital tasks to support public health when they have a need to replace or repair their vehicle."
The document serves as guidance for the emergency restrictions put in place by state and local governments throughout the nation. Several states have already included auto sales among essential businesses permitted to remain open during the crisis.
With today's announcement, NIADA calls on state and local leaders to revise their local orders to reflect the new federal guidelines.
"Now is the time for state governors, county executives and mayors who have issued local orders to resolve any conflicts with the updated federal guidelines as it relates to motor vehicle sales," NIADA senior vice president of legal and government affairs Shaun Petersen said.
"The updated federal guidance is an express recognition that motor vehicle sales can safely continue, and NIADA will continue to urge all independent dealers to place the safety of their customers and employees first."