Union Leasing COVID-19 Updates
A letter from our President:
Union Leasing and our parent company, Sasser Family Companies, continues to closely monitor the evolving COVID-19 situation. Promoting the health and safety of our employees and customers is our top priority. We want to assure you that we have implemented actions so that we can continue to provide the highest level of service to all of our customers. These are a few of the critical measures we have recently taken:
- Reviewed our contingency plan with the entire management team and identified critical business tasks that may be impacted if we are unable to access our offices.
- Implemented a voluntary work at home policy for all employees and tested our IT capabilities to ensure work can be done remotely.
- Asked all employees to refrain from air travel until further notice and conduct virtual meetings where possible.
We are committed to providing the most up to date information to our customers. Each of our department managers remain in close communication with our supplier partners. Below is the key information from each department which we will keep up to date as changes occur. Please check back frequently for more updates.
We appreciate your business and look forward to partnering with you well into the future.
(Dealer Operations are on a case by case basis–some deliveries may be delayed)
Based on the information that is available from the manufacturers and online, most North American assembly plants will remain closed until 4/30.
- Audi : All European factories are closed; orders will be accepted, impact on delivery dates is unknown.
- BMW: Plants will be closed until April 19th.
- FCA: FCA is continuing to work diligently to implement the safety measures across its North American operations that will reassure our employees of their health and well-being in their workplace. It is important that our employees feel confident that all precautions have been taken to ensure our facilities are safe, secure and sanitized when production resumes.
In light of the updated state stay in place orders, the company is re-evaluating its plans to resume its North American operations and will communicate new restart dates in due course
- Ford: Ford Motor Company has indefinitely delayed the reopening of all North American Plants.
- GM: General Motors has not published specific plant closure information. Based on the other manufacturers, it’s a good bet that all GM plants in North America will be closed until 4/30.
- Hyundai: Hyundai has announced that the tentative date to restart production at its North American assembly plants is 5/4.
- Kia: Corporate & regional staff will be working remotely on March 18. The timing of this is tentative and dependent on the state emergency plansKMMG (Georgia Plant) will be shut down beginning March 30th to comply with Stay at Home order. Production is scheduled to begin again on April 30th.
Our global plants have taken various downtimes however our production scheduled for the US has not been disrupted.
- Mazda: No change in operations.
- Mercedes Benz: Some European plants have closed; affecting car division.
- Nissan: All Nissan North American assembly plants were closed on March 20 with a planned reopening April 30.
- Subaru: Subaru headquarters in Camden, NJ remains closed with employees working remotely.
Subaru’s manufacturing plant in Gunma, Japan is open and continues to build Forester and Crosstrek. Our plant in Indiana (Ascent, Outback, Legacy and Impreza) has extended its temporary suspension of production to April 30. Order banks remain open (2020 Ascent is built out) as production is expected to resume in Indiana on April 30th.
- Toyota: Due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Federal social distancing guidelines, and declining vehicle demand, Toyota will further extend its production shutdown for an additional two weeks from April 20 through May 1. Toyota’s current plan is to resume production on May 4. This shutdown affects all of the company’s automobile and components plants in North America, including Canada, Mexico and the U.S.
Our dealer partners continue to support their customers and communities by keeping their doors open wherever possible. Many are offering online sales and home delivery, and continue to service vehicles to make sure our customers are getting where they need to be.
At the same time, our service parts operations and finished vehicle logistics are also working to make sure our dealers can continue to service and sell vehicles to meet our customer needs. In addition, while customer call volume has increased, our call centers remain open and have transitioned to working remotely.
Toyota will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as necessary.
- Volkswagen: Key updates on business operations in regards to COVID:
· Emden, Germany factory closed through week of 4/13, then will reevaluate
o Carlines: Arteon
· Chattanooga, TN factory closed through week of 4/13, then will reevaluate
o Carlines: Passat, Atlas, Atlas Cross Sport
· Puebla, Mexico factory closed through week of 4/27, then will reevaluate
o Carlines: Golf, GTI, Jetta, Jetta GLI, Tiguan,
· Port operations in Chattanooga are suspended this week. Will evaluate week of 4/13. All other ports are operational
· All fleet Courtesy Delivery shipments remain on hold. Will reevaluate week of 4/20.
- FCA, Ford and GM have formed a special joint task force to coordinate their COVID-19 response activities and policies.
Customer Experience Updates
- Driver call center remains open with workers working remotely – all operations continue at 100%
- Virtual maintenance cards will be sent out until further notice.
- Fuel cards will be sent directly to driver garaging address
License & Title Updates
With a majority of states closing DMV offices and extending expiration dates; we will be making every effort to keep your registration current.
Many states have closed down cash tolls, instead relying on electronic methods. In the event that you must use a cash booth, our TollGuard system will protect you from violations.
Our Maintenance Department continues to do Business as Usual providing the same 24/7 service you’ve come to expect.
Currently, many of our National Service partners are reporting offerings of curbside or “Touchless” services to adhere to Federal Social Distancing guidelines.
FCA reports that Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram dealer service centers scattered across the country are closed due to the virus. FCA recommends calling the service facility prior to going to insure they are open.
All Monro, and their subsidiary brands, locations have initiated shortened hours across all stores across the country.
Tire Kingdom/NTB has initiated the following operating schedule across all stores until further notice:
- Monday – Friday 7:00am – 5:00pm
- Saturday 7:30am – 5:00pm
- Sunday (stores with normal Sunday hours) 9:00am – 5:00pm
Midas and Big O Tires will continue to stay open for business, please note these franchise owners will be making fluid decisions based on their markets and businesses. We encourage your drivers or internal teams to reach out to any local Midas or Big O Tires to make an appointment for service or tire needs.
IMPORTANT AUCTION TRANSPORTATION NOTE: To facilitate timely pickup and transportation for residential assignments our auction and transport partners have requested that vehicles are cleaned prior to transportation. We are recommending a wipe down of hard surfaces with disinfecting wipes or spray. Thanks in advance for your assistance.
Auctions have changed to operating digital sales across the country. Union Leasing Remarketing runs in the digital space at auctions nationally as a matter of routine and at this point, we have not experienced any operational fall downs in the transition or noticed a decline in buyer participation.
We are closely monitoring auction activity and any related closures on the West Coast and any other areas that are more severely impacted by COVID-19 and will adjust the business accordingly.
Please make note that new auction assignments in CA, NY, MA, MI, NM, LA, Dallas County, Kansas City, and St Louis, MO will have to be held in place until these states fully re-open. We are working with our auction partners to identify auctions in those states that are receiving inventory, but if both the state (or county) and auction are fully closed we cannot move the vehicles as carriers are not allowed on the roads. During this period it is imperative that accurate and correct pick up locations are provided so that we can properly track all inventory pending transportation.
Updated 9:00am CDT 4-8-2020