The illogical lockdown

Honda showroom

It perhaps wasn’t a surprise when the prime minister announced a fresh lockdown in England. Wales and Northern Ireland had already implemented the measure. But there’s huge frustration in how the rules impact our industry. 

You can’t encourage vehicle production to continue if you then turnaround and say showrooms are excluded from the essential services list. It’s illogical.

Vehicles, whether private or used by trades people and those from the logistics sector, are vital to keep essential services and those supporting the more vulnerable moving. Ensuring individuals and businesses have access to repairs, MOT and servicing and vehicle sales is crucial. 

Businesses have taken extraordinary measures to isolate customers from risk since the pandemic hit. That includes the extensive physical measures in showrooms, but also deep cleaning vehicles and unaccompanied test drives. Similar measures also exist in service departments, where there is no direct physical contact between customers and staff and, again, cars are extensively cleaned and sterilised.

The IMI strongly supports the NFDA and SMMT in asking the government to rethink its approach, and allow businesses to remain open.

But the impact on business of a second lockdown is only part of the story. I’m mindful that as we enter the winter months, emotional, financial and physical pressures could also increase too.

Since March the IMI has worked hard to provide as much information and support as possible. Our dedicated COVID-19 hub and MotorPro page house an incredible amount of advice and help, so please use the resources, they’re there to help, and are regularly updated.

And if the IMI can help in any way please get in touch. We’re available on +44 (0)1992 519025, or send emails to if you need us.
Stay safe,