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COVID-19 BUSINESS UPDATES

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Best Practices

This summary of information related to the Cox Automotive response to COVID-19 will be updated regularly as the situation evolves.
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COVID-19 Cox Automotive Updates

With health and safety as our top priority, the Cox Automotive family of brands is also committed to partnering with clients to keep the automotive marketplace up and running. In the interest of staying connected with our partners and clients, real-time updates on business operations for each of our brands can be accessed below.

Updates from Leadership

Let’s just say this about COVID-19: We’re all in it together. Our job is to help make the automotive industry as good as it can be, and that has never been more apparent or more important than right now. Like so many others, Cox Automotive is looking for every opportunity to keep our people healthy, to keep our partners’ and clients’ businesses healthy, and to do our part to prevent the virus from spreading further.

We’re doing everything we can to keep the automotive marketplace up and running. That includes taking the steps outlined below to protect our people and deliver the best possible service through this unusual disruption. We’re monitoring the situation by the hour and we’re ready to move quickly with additional protocols should we need them.

We’ve promised to do our best for everyone and you can count on us to help lead the industry at this critical moment. If you want to talk about our response or how we can help you navigate these uncharted circumstances, please give us a call.

Thank you for your continued trust and partnership, and for caring about each other – especially those who may be suffering the most from the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We’ll get through this together.

Be well and be kind,

Sandy Schwartz
CEO, Cox Automotive

Dear Client,

Cox Automotive is committed to the safety and well-being of our employees, clients and communities. As mentioned in an earlier statement, the situation with COVID-19 is extremely fluid. We are evolving strategies to support our team members across the country and enable them to provide you, our clients, with ongoing service and support with as little disruption as possible. As we navigate this unprecedented time, we are here to partner with you on a personalized plan that drives results for your business.

In order to keep our team members and clients safe, we are beginning the transition of all field-based team members to a virtual work environment. Cox Automotive has equipped our teams with an array of tools to ensure we stay connected to our partners and clients.

Cox Automotive is committed to sharing our latest insights in this fast changing environment. We will also be sharing best practices and strategies around operating optimally in a virtual sales and service environment on our website.

Your partnership with Cox Automotive and commitment to your employees, communities, and our industry is greatly appreciated, now and always.

Tim McKinley
Chief Sales & Marketing Officer

Keith Jezek
President, Retail Solutions

Overview

Cox Automotive is taking multiple steps to maintain business continuity with our clients, customers and partners while ensuring the safety of our employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our goal is to do the right thing to keep employees healthy, to keep our business moving forward, and to do our part to keep the virus from becoming a larger-scale pandemic. We are in close contact with government and health officials as this situation evolves. Here’s a summary of key measures the company has taken:

Employee Safety

In keeping with the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Cox Automotive continues to prioritize the health and safety of its employees, customers and communities. To that end, Cox Automotive is encouraging those who can work remotely to do so through Tuesday, March 31. By having most people work from home, it will help make the environment in our offices safer for those who do have to be onsite to perform their jobs. Employees who must be in the office are being asked to avoid face-to-face meetings as much as possible.

We’ve asked all Cox Automotive employees to refrain from international business travel, limit travel to client-essential domestic trips only and avoid large group meetings and attendance at external events.

We’re sending ongoing communications to team members to follow CDC guidelines, including practicing appropriate sanitation, staying away from people who are sick, and observing CDC suggested 14-day quarantines at home if they’ve traveled to Level 3 countries or come in close contact with those who have. Further, Cox Enterprises, the parent company of Cox Automotive, has announced enhanced medical benefits for its workforce, including free or reduced-cost telephonic access to health care providers and cost waivers for COVID-19 diagnostic testing.

Customer Safety

Currently, Manheim’s 76 physical auction locations and diverse digital channels are fully operational to serve customers’ buying and selling business needs. However, due to ongoing public health concerns and the safety of all involved, we have decided to implement Simulcast-only sales at all of our locations effective Monday, March 16. The Simulcast-only sales will run as a postcard sale – with vehicles shown as images only. We will not be running cars down the lane and buyers will not be allowed in the offices or lanes to place bids during the sale. Manheim will waive the Simulcast Success Fee for both buyers and sellers through Friday, April 3.

See the latest message from Grace Huang, president, Manheim.

Find out more information on Manheim’s COVID-19 response.

Business Continuity

We have activated our Business Continuity Plan (BCP) for pandemic situations to ensure the continuation of services and to establish ongoing communications between key stakeholders as incidents occur and circumstances evolve.  All services being provided to our clients are being closely monitored and assessed for any risk relating to the COVID-19 situation.  As part of our BCP plan, we are in contact with critical third parties to verify their ability to provide continued support of our business.

This article has been updated with additional details. The original article was published on March 11, 2020.

Operations Updates

Due to ongoing public health concerns and the safety of all involved, Manheim is assessing and making changes daily to help our team members and clients during this time. Here are the latest updates:

COVID-19 Health and Safety Priority: Manheim U.S. has over 76 locations and thousands of team members across the country. There have been a few confirmed COVID-19 cases among team members or their families. We are doing all we can to support the affected employees and their families. We have transformed to Simulcast-only sales across the country, closed a number of locations, drastically limited access to others and reduced our on-site functions to essential operations only. We are taking every precaution to clean and sanitize the workplace to reduce spread of the virus as recommended by the CDC and public health officials, including carefully following current physical distancing mandates for each location.

Status of Location Operations: Due to mandatory health regulations and state ordinances in response to COVID-19, the status of many of our Manheim locations is changing daily. Here is a list of locations impacted and their current operational status.

COVID-19 Policy Updates:In the event that a Manheim auction or offsite location (i.e. dealership or storage location) is closed and vehicle pickup/checkout is not possible, all OVE, Manheim Express and Private Store purchases made in the 72 hours prior to location closure and not yet picked up may be unwound upon the submission of an arbitration request by the buyer. OVE, Manheim Express and Private Store vehicles purchased more than 72 hours prior and not yet picked up will be considered sold. This does not apply to non-Manheim Auction facilitated listings (i.e. Independent Auction listings).

Please note: All buyers, sellers and their agents are responsible for adhering to any national, state and local restrictions on business operation, which may include participating in wholesale transactions and which may impinge or hinder access to vehicles. This may include activities related to selling, purchasing or transporting vehicles.

Manheim Concierge services: The Concierge team members will be engaging only with the vehicle and manage appointment follow-ups virtually. Additionally, they will be maintaining a distance of 6 feet from all other individuals.

Simulcast-Only Sales: Manheim will continue running Simulcast-only sales as scheduled if local ordinance permits. If a U.S. location is not currently closed, it is running Simulcast-only sales as a postcard sale – with vehicles shown as images only. We will not be running cars down the lane at any Manheim U.S location.

Read more

ATLANTA, April 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Consistent with its pledge to deliver safe and exceptional vehicle care and always do the right thing for its customers and communities, RideKleen, the leader in eco-conscious mobile vehicle care and fleet services, is advancing its everyday solutions and operations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The company’s heightened RideKleen Surface Disinfection & Air Cleanse Services will be implemented in partnership with Cox Automotive brands and industry leaders Clutch Technologies and Manheim to power a new Retail Delivery & Service Pickup and Delivery offering, as well as new cleaning and disinfecting products. Read more

Insights and Expertise

March 31, 2020: Cox Automotive’s Chief Economist, Jonathan Smoke, provides continuing coverage of the impact on the automotive industry from his home studio in Atlanta, GA.

  • The latest on COVID-19’s impact nationwide
  • National and state-level job losses
  • Consumer sentiment, including car-buying and car-servicing
  • New and used vehicle sales trends
  • Manheim used vehicle values
  • Proprietary insights and outlook from Cox Automotive

During this unprecedented time, Cox Automotive is committed to providing you with the most up-to-date automotive news. Check back regularly for the latest updates. For previous updates from Jonathan Smoke, click here.

OFFERS & SOLUTIONS

With health and safety as our top priority, the Cox Automotive family of brands is also committed to partnering with clients to keep the automotive marketplace up and running. In the interest of staying connected with our partners and clients, real-time updates on business operations for each of our brands can be accessed below.

Assistance Program

Dear Clients:

Speaking with many of you over the last week, we have been working through personalized plans to support your individual needs. These conversations made it clear we needed to come back to you with more.

In response, we are launching the Cox Automotive Retail Solutions COVID-19 Assistance Program.

For the months of April and May 2020, Cox Automotive Retail Solutions will provide a 50% discount on our Retail Solutions Dealer Subscription Product fees that include the following:

• Autotrader Subscription Listings
• Dealer.com Websites and Digital Retailing
• Dealertrack DMS
• Dealertrack F&I
• Dealertrack Registration & Titling Subscription Products
• HomeNet Automotive
• Kelley Blue Book Instant Cash Offer (ICO)
• vAuto
• VinSolutions
• Xtime

This reduction applies only to Cox Automotive Retail Solutions subscription fees. Associated fees from non-Cox Automotive entities remain the domain of those entities for their services. If any DMS provider lowers or waives their fees to Cox Automotive, we will pass the entire savings along to you, our dealer clients.

As for our valued OEM partners, Cox Automotive will work with you to determine how to distribute the funds through respective programs.

No action is required by you at this time to receive this discount. Your partnership with Cox Automotive and commitment to your employees, communities, and our industry is greatly appreciated, now and always.

Keith Jezek
President, Retail Solutions

Dear Client,

Cox Automotive is committed to the safety and well-being of our employees, clients and communities. As mentioned in an earlier statement, the situation with COVID-19 is extremely fluid. We are evolving strategies to support our team members across the country and enable them to provide you, our clients, with ongoing service and support with as little disruption as possible. As we navigate this unprecedented time, we are here to partner with you on a personalized plan that drives results for your business.

In order to keep our team members and clients safe, we are beginning the transition of all field-based team members to a virtual work environment. Cox Automotive has equipped our teams with an array of tools to ensure we stay connected to our partners and clients.

Cox Automotive is committed to sharing our latest insights in this fast changing environment. We will also be sharing best practices and strategies around operating optimally in a virtual sales and service environment on our website.

Your partnership with Cox Automotive and commitment to your employees, communities, and our industry is greatly appreciated, now and always.

Tim McKinley
Chief Sales & Marketing Officer

Keith Jezek
President, Retail Solutions

Brand/Product Offers

A message to our clients

As we all navigate this unprecedented time, we are here to partner with you on a personalized plan that drives results for your business. With our 500+ sales team members across the country and in your local area, we are committed to working side-by-side with you on a solution that helps you through this time.

Your local sales representative will reach out shortly to review the tools and services we are providing to support you, if you haven’t already started those discussions. In addition, our product team is actively working on new ideas to help support dealers and consumers in a new virtual world.

Please view this brief video for more details, as well as some quick tips for connecting with car buyers.

You and all those impacted by COVID-19 are in our hearts and minds. Cox Automotive is committed to the safety and well-being of our employees and customers – so we are prepared to fully support you from afar.

Sincerely,

Jessica Stafford

SVP & General Manager, Autotrader

Click here for the latest Manheim COVID-19 Details

In my initial letter to you, I shared that NextGear Capital was working on a relief package which would be circulated as soon as it was finalized. My leadership team and I understand that we have the unique opportunity to assist with some of the issues our clients may currently be facing.

I want to reiterate that I truly believe the best way to get through the current crisis is by coming together as an automotive community. We are here to support you during this period and in the future when it’s time to get back to business as usual. To that end, effective Monday, March 23, and for a period of 30 days thereafter, for all NextGear Capital dealers in good standing we are taking the following steps:

• Base Rate Reduction by 50 Basis Points
• Deferred Curtailment & Extension payments for Eligible Floorplan Advances
• No Late Fees
• No Collateral Audit Reconciliation Fees
• No First Extension Fees
• No Full or Partial Waiver Fee tied to Curtailments or Extensions
• No Collateral Audit Fees

Given the current economic environment, NextGear Capital anticipates a slow-down in business. The temporary measures set forth above will hopefully alleviate some of that pain. Rest assured that NextGear Capital is prepared to continue providing our dealers with the ability to finance their transactions. However, in an effort to create an optimal future state for when this crisis passes, please be advised that it will be within the context of new credit availability guidelines.

Additionally, NextGear Capital must and will continue to conduct inventory audits but we will be making adjustments to the process to reduce any undue burden and disruption to your business during this critical time. Your Portfolio Manager will be available to assist with your questions and support you on needs that may arise. It is our anticipation that this period will be short lived, and we can all return to business as usual very soon.

It is my genuine hope that the actions we are taking can provide some relief and assistance to your business and eliminate at least a marginal amount of stress. My leadership team and I will continue monitoring the economic impact as we look for ways to provide aid and support for our dealers during this unprecedented time.

Please continue reaching out to your Portfolio Manager with any needs or questions you may have and know that the entire NextGear Capital family has you all in our thoughts.

Sincerely,

Scott Maybee
President, NextGear Capital

A message to our dealership friends

These are uncertain times, but we’re in this together. We remain committed to your fixed operations business needs and are here to partner with you on a safe solution. There’s never been a better time to support your customers with a white glove service experience that is safe and convenient.

In response to the COVID-19 situation, Clutch Technologies is offering Service Pickup & Delivery software at no cost through July 2020 to enable you to continue to drive service revenue and pick up customer vehicles for service. Our team is committed to providing a fully remote, simple implementation in three business days to get you up and running quickly. Learn more about Service Pickup & Delivery and how you can sign up.

Whether you’re an existing Clutch partner or not, we’re here to help. You are in our thoughts and you have our support.

Best,

Alan Powell
SVP Sales, Clutch Technologies

Vince Zappa
President, Clutch Technologies

A message to our clients and partners:

We hope that you, your families and your team members are safe and well. At RideKleen, we’ve been hard at work responding to COVID-19 – adjusting our solutions and operations so that we can continue to deliver safe and exceptional vehicle care for our customers and team members.

As a result, we’re excited to announce RideKleen Vehicle Surface Disinfection & Air Cleanse Services in response to COVID-19.

• We’re now able to disinfect vehicles with an EPA-approved, hospital-grade disinfectant designed to kill up to 99.9% of bacteria and viruses, including coronavirus.

• We will begin treating in-vehicle air with a hygienic vapor to help remove contaminants, odor and pollutants and reach places that sprays and wipes cannot, including vehicle ventilation systems.

• In partnership with Clutch Technologies, we’re expanding our solution to enable dealers to deliver treated vehicles to their customers. Dealers using the Clutch Technologies platform for Retail Delivery & Service Pickup and Delivery will have access to our disinfecting & cleansing solutions – beginning in Atlanta and rapidly expanding to other markets.

• With employee safety as a priority, RideKleen will follow a rigorous operational process and provide safety training for its team members consistent with the guidance for cleaning and disinfection provided by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Whether you are a fleet owner, dealer, rideshare driver or first responder, our goal is to make these services available to you so that you can provide safe, clean vehicle experiences for your customers. While the situation we face today accelerated the launch of our Surface Disinfection & Air Cleanse Services, they will become a regular part of our daily operations moving forward – staying true to our commitment to safe and exceptional vehicle care. Visit our website to learn more.

Thank you for your partnership and support as we navigate this challenge together. We’ve no doubt that we’ll all be stronger and better than ever before on the other side.

Pratik Patel
President & Founder, RideKleen

FEATURED UPCOMING WEBINARS

Fixed Ops

Join Mo Zahabi, senior director of product consulting at Cox Automotive, as he introduces the basics of digital retailing and its increased relevance for today’s socially-distanced car buying process.

Sales & Marketing

Join Noah Lee, head of product consulting at Dealer.com, for a discussion of how your dealership can best communicate with remote shoppers. He’ll share best practices and take your questions.

Operations

Rich Mertz, senior divisional manager at Cox Automotive Digital Retailing, discusses how your deal-making technique should shift in today’s climate. It’s still possible to build meaningful connections with shoppers virtually and to close deals.

Fixed Ops

Will Crouch and Terri Gonzalez lay out the steps you can take to keep your business moving forward today and position yourself for growth into the future. During this webinar, you’ll learn how to get the most out of the resources that are available to you and how to use digital solutions to connect in a social distancing world.

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Our MENTIONS

Business Continuity Resources

Best Practices from Cox Automotive Experts

Your customers are still shopping online. Cox Automotive is here to help you do what it takes to win.
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FEATURED UPCOMING WEBINARS

Noah Lee, Dealer.com’s Head of Product Consulting
Thursday 16, 2020
Register Now


Join Noah Lee, head of product consulting at Dealer.com, for a discussion of how your dealership can best communicate with remote shoppers. He’ll share best practices and take your questions. Register Now

Ben Flusberg, AVP, M LOGIC
Friday, Feb. 14, 1-2 p.m. PT, Room N224
Sunday, Feb. 16, 9-10 a.m. PT, Room N224


In a very time-sensitive industry, you need to make smart, real-time decisions. With margins compressing, it’s even more imperative that you’re able to find the inventory you need quickly and efficiently. Now, artificial intelligence (AI) is adding science to the art of decision making. This workshop will show how using AI is not a futuristic aspiration, but something you can benefit from today for everything from personalized recommendations, valuation and enhanced vehicle imaging for confident online buying.


About Ben:
Ben Flusberg, Ph.D., is associate vice president of M LOGIC, a suite of decisioning products from Manheim, a Cox Automotive brand.

Ben has over 15 years of experience in technology and business innovation, management consulting, and blending quantitative data analytics with qualitative industry experience to drive client performance and efficiency.

In his role, Flusberg leads a cross-functional team that leverages advanced data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning to deliver innovative products and services to the automotive industry. These solutions help wholesale clients make better, more data-driven decisions that ultimately improve their bottom lines.

David Foutz, VP, Sales, Xtime and Dealertrack DMS
Friday, Feb. 14, 2:30-3:30 p.m. PT, Room N228

Saturday, Feb. 15 10:30-11:30 a.m. PT, Room N228


Now’s the time to transform your Service Department to put customer experience at the center of every interaction. We’ll explore why this shift is happening, and then provide a roadmap to guide you through how to deliver the experience customers expect – and grow profits as a result.


About David:
David Foutz is vice president of sales for Xtime and Dealertrack DMS, leading sales growth and support in the U.S. and Canada. As a strategic leader who helps dealers navigate software and platforms in the auto industry, David’s expertise stems from more than 20 years in sales and business development. He has generated plans and exceeded business objectives within the automotive, construction, agriculture and powersports industries. Prior to Xtime, David served as vice president of Sales and Marketing at Snap-on Business Solutions, achieving year-over-year growth, 11 percent improvement in operating income and market share growth to 61 percent.

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In today’s environment, you might be serving customers in your show room, delivering a car for test drive, ramping up service, or lining up sales for when you’re allowed to reopen. Whatever you’re engaged in, we’ve compiled a collection of webinars from across Cox Automotive to help you adjust to the changing landscape. We can help you connect with remote shoppers, improve dealership processes, and optimize your use of particular solutions. And you’ll find the resources you need right here on this page.

Hear from Our Experts

Our team of automotive professionals understands the challenges associated with social distancing and economic slowdown. Our experts are ready to help you tackle every challenge and find every opportunity in today’s unique environment. Use the filters below to find the exact information you need to keep your dealership strong.
Fixed Ops
Join Mo Zahabi, senior director of product consulting at Cox Automotive, as he introduces the basics of digital retailing and its increased relevance for today’s socially-distanced car buying process.

Join Noah Lee, head of product consulting at Dealer.com, for a discussion of how your dealership can best communicate with remote shoppers. He’ll share best practices and take your questions.

Rich Mertz, senior divisional manager at Cox Automotive Digital Retailing, discusses how your deal-making technique should shift in today’s climate. It’s still possible to build meaningful connections with shoppers virtually and to close deals.

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Think Outside the Lot:
Digital Retailing Best Practices

Now more than ever, consumers are spending time online. Give them the peace of mind they need by providing a convenient, flexible, and transparent car-buying experience from the comfort of their homes. Join Mo Zahabi, senior director of consulting, on how to get the most out of your digital retailing solution and how to virtually engage shoppers.
Sales & Marketing
Jon Torey discusses current events and how they’ve disrupted the car buying journey. While social distancing, customers are less likely to visit your dealership, but will spend more time shopping online. Video advertising is one of the best ways to continue reaching them. This webinar will explain why your dealership needs to shift to video advertising and how to make it happen.
Will Crouch and Terri Gonzalez lay out the steps you can take to keep your business moving forward today and position yourself for growth into the future. During this webinar, you’ll learn how to get the most out of the resources that are available to you and how to use digital solutions to connect in a social distancing world.
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Sales & Marketing

New CRM Strategies for New Challenges

Current events have forced dealerships to find new ways of reaching out to customers in order to build relationships. Join Tiea Roper, Performance Manager at VinSolutions, as she teaches new CRM strategies for today’s unique challenges.
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Transitioning your CRM into a Digital Sales Process

Josh Lehman discusses the ways in which the automotive industry is changing rapidly. As everyone adjusts to increased social distancing, your dealership will need to adapt your sales process to fit an increasingly digital environment.
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Creating your Virtual Sales Approach

Learn a 5-step digital retailing sales process that is customized to today’s online car shopper. Rich Mertz, senior divisional manager at Cox Automotive Digital Retailing, will cover the current state of car shopping, what other dealers are experiencing, and a virtual approach to selling that works.
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Best Practices for Driving Operational Efficiency

Dealertrack DMS has compiled best practices for creating a plan of action to drive operational efficiency. Join host Jae Chang, a Performance Manager from Dealertrack DMS with 20+ years of retail dealership management experience.

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