BOVAG: ‘We are now the crisis center for the mobility industry’

The Netherlands has slowed down considerably due to government corona measures. The mobility sector is noticing the consequences of this, as a result of which BOVAG as a trade association is running at full speed. What does the current situation mean for the sector?

There were no traffic jams in the Netherlands on Monday morning, as many people work from home. There is less driving, which is reflected in petrol stations. And because there are fewer vehicles on the road, the number of accidents has also decreased. As a result, fewer cars end up at damage repair companies. Because many cars are stationary, car washes and cleaning companies, for example, are also seeing their activity decline.

Many garage companies have taken measures

“The current situation has consequences for all our branches,” says BOVAG spokesman Tom Huyskens. “We are the crisis center of the mobility industry at the moment.” The trade association is therefore mainly concerned with making an inventory of the problems and maintaining the right contacts. “It is still too early to say which industry will be confronted with which damage item,” says Huyskens.

The spokesperson says the garage companies have not yet received any signals that repairs or maintenance are being postponed en masse. In addition, many garage companies have taken the initiative to come up with simple yet effective precautions.

“There is a great sense of responsibility and companies do everything they can to avoid physical contact between people as much as possible. If the car needs maintenance, that physical contact is in fact not necessary. There are car companies that have closed their showroom or their have made the workshop inaccessible to customers, yet others have broadened the options for collecting cars or working with a special counter for the issue of the car key, “says Huyskens.

Tricky parquet

It is true that some industries are more at risk than others, so BOVAG has to find the balance between advocacy and advice. “Driving schools may be more affected by the corona crisis than other companies, because it is difficult to keep a meter and a half away. But if we advise to stop lessons, we will end up with a lot of entrepreneurs directly in the wallet.”

In contrast to theoretical and practical exams, driving lessons will continue as usual, although driving school owners must ensure that things such as the door handle, steering wheel and gearbox lever are always disinfected.

“People must be able to continue preparing for the already scheduled exams for a few weeks, so that the planning does not go completely smooth. In that sense, you can see the current situation as a very harsh winter, in which there is usually less possible is “, explains Huyskens.

Share ideas and experiences

Petrol stations are advised to have as few people as possible in the shop at the same time and to close the coffee corners. All activities with a catering license on them must be closed anyway, so as much as possible the drinks from the refrigerator or the (coffee) machine.

The number of products that are freshly prepared should also be reduced or, in any case, prepared in advance, so that self-service is possible.

“It is mainly practical advice that you have to think about. We therefore ask entrepreneurs to mainly share their ideas and experiences. Who knows, maybe the golden tip is in between,” says Huyskens.

BOVAG itself tries to keep the industry informed as much as possible via the member portal online and via social media, for example about the reduction of working hours, part-time unemployment and accelerated opening of the extended guarantee for small and medium-sized enterprises (BMKB), which is open on Monday. has entered.

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