These are some “new normal” changes to how Volkswagen PH dealerships will handle client service after ECQ

May 6, 2020

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic that hit the country early this year, the government has decided to lockdown major parts of the country in what it referred to as an “Enhanced Community Quarantine” or ECQ. The reason being was to prevent the further spreading of the virus. As a result, many business establishments, including car dealerships, had to temporarily stop operations.

It’s been two months since the implementation of the ECQ, more than enough time to reflect a decline in the general economy. This compelled the government to lift the ECQ to a target date of May 15. In its place will be a General Community Quarantine of GCQ, a slightly-less restricted version of the ECQ. Under GCQ, many establishments which have shut down will be allowed to open again, and this includes car dealerships.

The catch is that all are required to practice certain safety precautions when interacting with clients and with co-workers.

AC Automotive, the automotive business unit of the Ayala Corporation which is the official distributor of Volkswagen in the country, has heeded the government’s call. As regard, it will gradually reopen its car dealerships and service centers nationwide, but with some noticeable changes to how customer service and work practices are tendered. AC Automotive refers to these changes as “new normal”, and will be exercised across all car brand dealerships it handles, including Maxus and Kia, among others.

“It will be very vital that we collectively create an environment wherein our customers’ safety, health and well-being are our utmost priority by the time we are allowed to operate and our customers are allowed to visit our dealerships once again. With this, we recommend certain guidelines, procedures and system in order to ensure our readiness and guarantee the safety of everyone,” shared Volkswagen Philippine President Felipe Estrella.

In this light, every customer who visits any Volkswagen dealership during the GCQ will have to practice the following in order to comply with the guide that is aimed to eliminate, if not minimize, exposure to the life-threatening virus:

  • Wear a facemask throughout the visit.
  • Before entry, body temperature will be checked, then alcohol will be sprayed onto hands. Customers who register body temperatures above 37 degrees Celsius will be informed that entry is not allowed and recommend to seek medical consultation.
  • Shaking hands will be avoided, and physical distancing (at least one meter apart) will be strictly followed.
  • At transaction tables, customers and sales and service personnel will not sit beside one another, but across the table. Thus, only two persons are allowed per table.
  • At the showroom and vehicle service bays, customers and attendants shall maintain physical distance, even when inside the vehicle.
  • All facilities where customers may be in—or use—shall be regularly disinfected. Every transaction table will have alcohol or hand sanitizer.
  • Touchless and cashless. Use of credit cards or online payments is highly recommended.
  • For those who would like to test drive, all vehicles will be fully sanitized and are guaranteed to be safe.

For aftersales operations, customers must set service appointments, observe physical distancing, Service Advisors and personnel are required to wear personal protective gears and all tools used and vehicles before and after being serviced must likewise be disinfected.

All Volkswagen dealership personnel are also advised to follow and practice health and safety protocols for business operations as stipulated in the guidelines of the government’s GCQ and Volkswagen Philippines’ Dealership Sales and Aftersales Operations Guide and Recommendations, to make every customer’s visit to any Volkswagen dealership a safe move to the “new normal.”

As of May 4, 2020, Volkswagen Cagayan de Oro in Mindanao region, which is placed under GCQ, is already open from Mondays to Saturdays (9:00 am to 4:00 pm).

About the Author

Randolph de Leon
Randy is a person with disability (PWD), a partially-blinded person with only his left eye functioning. Since childhood, the automobile has always been his passion, and is able to express it through photography and most recently, through writing as well. Outside the motoring beat, Randy spends time manning the media aspect of his business which he co-founded with his sister/college classmate. It's called Dragonlight Wellness and Solutions, a multi-business venture centering on improving peoples' lives through earning.