SouthCoast Open for Business: Al Viera, Dartmouth Nissan
Businesses all across the SouthCoast have been eagerly awaiting for today to arrive. Monday, May 18 has been circled on the calendar for weeks. Today is the day that Governor Baker is expected to give details about how businesses can progress towards re-opening. Baker is expected to offer guidelines and standards that businesses will expect to uphold in order to operate safely, varying by industry.
As our lives and commerce slowly return to normal, each morning on The Phil Paleologos, we'll spotlight a SouthCoast business leader who is fighting to continue to grow even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, Phil spoke with Al Viera, the General Manager at Dartmouth Nissan to get a look at the major challenges facing the auto industry on the SouthCoast.
"You know, a month ago I thought our future was dismal, but business has surprisingly been good. It's not where it was before this all happened, but I'd say we're about 80% there. Fast forward 6 months from now, I feel we'll be right back where we were before, if not better." --Al Viera, Dartmouth Nissan General Manager
If there's one thing that hurts the most, said Viera, it is the fact that no test drives are allowed right now.
"They're not allowing us to test drive cars, and we're making the consumer aware of it. I'm really hoping that's the one part of this phasing process that allows the dealer to have the customers test drive," he said. "Let's face it, you're spending that kind of money you really want to test drive the vehicle."
Viera said they are also trying to streamline the dreaded process of paperwork while buying a vehicle. He said that about 85 percent of the paperwork can be filled out online, and the rest of it can be wrapped up in the finance office at the showroom. They are searching to make the process 100 percent digital so that it can be filled out entirely from home.