Coronavirusly COVID-19 Automotive News

In coronavirus COVID-19 news are GM, Ford, AutoPacific, Tint World, TechNavio, Concours d’Elegance, Comscore and more.

GM Dealers Pledge Sanitation

As part of an ongoing commitment to enhance and improve the entire customer experience from shopping to delivery, today General Motors announced an initiative inviting U.S. dealers to participate in a program embracing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines in the operations of their businesses.

Dealers who enroll in the CLEAN program have agreed to follow CDC guidelines and to use Environmental Protection Agency-approved cleansers in connection with the cleaning of their facilities, including high-traffic areas, and the cleaning of new, used and serviced customer vehicles. Dealers who enroll in the program have committed to following the CDC guidelines and practices upon enrollment.

“With all of the uncertainty in today’s world, we know that our customers’ expectations have changed and that more will need to be done to meet those expectations,” said Barry Engle, executive vice president and president, GM North America. “As a result, our engineering, service and sales teams have worked closely with our dealer network to develop a program that follows best practices regarding the delivery of new, used or serviced vehicles.”

Participating dealers will communicate their enrollment in the CLEAN initiative to customers through point-of-sale materials and other customer-facing messaging.

Ford Will Test Vehicles and Workers

Ford announced it had signed contracts with health systems in four metro areas with major company facilities to quickly test hourly and salaried employees with suspected symptoms of COVID-19.

In Southeast Michigan, Ford will work with Beaumont Health for testing. In Louisville, Ford employees will be tested through University of Louisville Health. In the Kansas City area, employees will be tested through Liberty Hospital. In the Chicago area, employees will be tested through the University of Chicago Medical Center and UChicago Medicine-Ingalls Memorial Hospital.

“Fast and accurate testing is a key tool in the effort to help stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Walter Talamonti, Ford Medical Director. “These contracts will allow us to test employees with suspected symptoms and have results back within 24 hours. If they test positive, we can quickly identify close contact employees who may have been exposed and ask them to self-quarantine for 14 days.”

In Southeast Michigan, where Ford employs approximately 46,000 people, employees who exhibit symptoms associated with COVID-19 will receive a prescription for testing from Ford’s onsite doctors. This prescription allows employees to receive testing through Beaumont Health.

In Louisville, where Ford has two major assembly plants and employs approximately 12,500 people, employees who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 will be asked to immediately schedule a telemedicine appointment with a doctor. The doctor can then write a prescription for COVID-19 testing if necessary. Testing will be done through University of Louisville Health.

In the Kansas City area, where Ford builds the best-selling F-150 and employs more than 7,000 people, employees who exhibit symptoms associated with COVID-19 will receive a prescription from Ford’s onsite doctors for testing. They can then access a drive-through testing site at Liberty Hospital.

In the Chicago area, home of Chicago Assembly and Chicago Stamping plants, which together employ nearly 7,000 people, Ford will advise employees who suspect or exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 to call the COVID number of the University of Chicago Medical Center and UChicago Medicine-Ingalls Memorial Hospital. After a phone screening, they will be given a same day appointment for COVID-19 testing when appropriate.

In all locations, the goal is to have results available within 24 hours.

Testing results will be simultaneously shared with Ford doctors in order to quickly identify others who were in close contact with infected employees and immediately have them self-quarantine for 14 days.

“We are working on quickly expanding testing of symptomatic employees,” said Ken Washington, Ford’s Chief Technology Officer. “The health and safety of our employees has been – and remains – our top priority as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to expanding locations for these tests, we are also pursuing the possibility of voluntary antibody testing in the future for our employees.”

Ford is initially focusing on polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing, which identifies if someone is actively infected. PCR tests are used to detect the presence of viral RNA, not the presence of the antibodies, which are the body’s immune response.

“Fast, accurate tests work hand-in-hand with personal protection equipment and protocols to create a safe environment for our workforce,” said Gary Johnson, Ford’s Chief Manufacturing and Labor Affairs Officer. “We are proud to partner with the UAW to lead the way on restarting our factories the right way.”

Testing is the most recent addition to Ford’s health and safety protocols in place in the company’s facilities.

To guide the workforce with the new health and safety protocols, Ford has compiled a comprehensive Manufacturing Return to Work Playbook to help protect its workforce, assembled using best practices and input from experts around the world. Some of the safety protocols include:

  • Daily online employee and visitor health self-certifications completed before work every day. Employees or visitors who indicate they may have symptoms or may have been exposed to the virus will be told not to come to Ford facilities.
  • No-touch temperature scans upon arrival – anyone with a raised temperature will not be permitted to enter and will need to be cleared of symptoms before returning to work.
  • Required face masks for everyone entering a Ford facility. Every Ford team member will be provided a care kit including face masks and other items to help keep them healthy and comfortable at work.
  • Safety glasses with side shields or face shields will be required when jobs don’t allow for social distancing.
  • There will be more time between production shifts to limit interaction between employees and allow for additional cleaning.

Study Shows Less Auto Maintenance During Lockdown

According to a recent study by AutoPacific, 34% of vehicle owners are choosing to delay or completely forgo their vehicle service during the COVID-19 pandemic, while another 28% will only take their vehicle in for necessary maintenance.

According to the survey of more than 1,100 vehicle owners, fielded April 9-20, 2020, the need for social distancing is the primary reason for choosing to delay or forgo servicing their vehicle. 68% of respondents said, “I need to social distance; I don’t want to spend time in a waiting room with other owners.” 41% don’t want to be exposed to dealer personnel, and 41% don’t want their vehicle exposed to germs by mechanics, technicians and drivers. Personal finances, such as job loss or reduced income, account for 11% of service delays.

Tint World Offers Hospital Grade AntiMicrobial Protection

– Tint World® Automotive Styling Centers™, a premier automotive styling and window tinting franchise, has announced a partnership with BioPledge®, the EPA-registered, hospital-grade, AntiMicrobial Protection (AMP)™, offering their customers long-lasting, industry-leading protection from germs that can cause illness and odors.

The partnership is part of Tint World®’s ongoing commitment to helping vehicle owners stay safe and healthy during the COVID-19 crisis.

Polaris Slingshot Donates Meals for Test Drives

Under the guidelines of state and local protocols for reopening business, Polaris Slingshot is working with participating dealers across the country to help local communities and families in need. Starting today, and through June 30, every consumer that test drive’s a Slingshot will represent a donation of up to 100 meals to families in need.

Per test drive, a $10 donation will be made by Polaris Slingshot to a local food shelf or a national organization such as Feeding America. Slingshot hopes to fund up to 250,000 meals across the country during this campaign. To find a participating dealer and schedule a test drive appointment, visit https://slingshot.polaris.com/en-us/test-ride/.

“During these times, millions of Americans are struggling to put food on the table and we are proud to be working in cooperation with our dealers to help give back to those in need in their community,” said Chris Sergeant, Vice President of Polaris Slingshot. “This program proves that just a little can go a long way to make a difference, providing an opportunity for all of us to be superheroes.”

In addition, consumers can go online to PolarisSlingshot.com and enter the “It’s Automatic” sweepstakes. Now through September, to celebrate the all-new 2020 Polaris Slingshot lineup, the brand is giving away a fully-accessorized 2020 Slingshot SL with the new AutoDrive transmission. When visiting the webpage, consumers enter by selecting their favorite Slingshot accessory collection then filling out and submitting the entry form.

Concours d’Elegance of America Cancelled for this Year

The Concours d’Elegance of America has been closely monitoring the news of the Covid-19 pandemic facing our state and nation. After careful consideration and following the Governor of Michigan’s guidelines, the Board of Directors have made the decision to postpone the 2020 Concours d’Elegance of America to July 23-25, 2021.

“We would like to extend our deepest gratitude to our; collectors, judges, partners, volunteers, spectators, and venue host The Inn at St. John’s for their unwavering support and commitment. We hope you all accept our invitation to join us in 2021!”

“Postponing this year’s event was not an easy decision,” said Chairman of the Board, Larry Moss. “With continued health concerns a top priority, we felt it was in the best interest of our Concours’ collectors, partners, volunteers, judges, and spectators to reschedule the event. We are happy to announce our 2021 honorees: Collector of the Year, the Honorable Judge Joseph C. Cassini lll and Enthusiast of the Year, Moray Callum, Vice President Design, Ford Motor Company. We look forward with great enthusiasm to next year, when we can all come together again and celebrate our love of the automobile.”

To our patrons, all tickets purchased to date for the 42nd Concours d’Elegance of America will be valid for the event on Sunday, July 25, 2021. Ticket purchasers who cannot attend the 42nd Concours, can request a refund beginning June 1, 2020, by emailing taranoftz@concoursusa.org. ABOUT US: The Concours d’Elegance of America is an automotive “competition of elegance”.

Now in its 42nd year, the event is highly regarded as one of the top 3 Concours in the nation. To label this event as anything less than a spectacular occasion would be tantamount to calling a Bugatti or a Duesenberg “just another car.” In a world with too few opportunities to revel in the splendor of exquisite design, today’s Concours d’Elegance of America, at the Inn at St. John’s, stands as a tribute to a lifestyle long past. In order to fully explore and appreciate the automobiles, the fashions and the lifestyle celebrated by the Concours d’Elegance tradition, our event has grown to become an extended weekend affair encompassing a motoring tour, arguably one of the largest cars and coffee gatherings in the state, Chairman’s reception, Charity dinner and, of course, a uniquely judged automotive competition that recognizes the true significance of every vehicle honored. It is a remarkable opportunity that no true art, fashion or automotive aficionado should ever miss. Show dates: Friday, July 23 – Sunday, July 25, 2021 Venue: The Inn at St. John’s, Plymouth, MI Visit our website at: www.concoursusa.org

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