Germany wants to break the fourth corona wave. on thursday, the federal and state governments passed a series of stricter measures, including a comprehensive 2G regulation in the retail sector. The automotive industry is struggling with the decision.
federal and state governments agreed on new pandemic measures at a digital corona summit. This includes, above all, contact restrictions for unvaccinated persons in private and public areas. As expected, 2G regulation is being introduced in the retail sector – across the board and independent of incidence. This excludes stores and businesses that are part of the basic supply, such as supermarkets and pharmacies. In the future, only persons who have been vaccinated twice against the coronavirus and have recovered from covid-19 will be allowed to enter all other retail outlets. This must control the operators.
The German automotive industry (ZDK) had already warned in advance of the negative consequences of a 2G regulation for car dealers. ZDK president jurgen karpinski said on thursday in an online meeting of the association’s board of directors that a renewed restriction of business operations would be neither bearable nor reasonable for the companies. The committee had spoken out in favor of launching a differentiated solution – without success.
it has been proven that car dealerships are not a source of infection because they usually have large display and sales areas where only a few customers are present at any one time and there is therefore no crowding or queuing, karpinski emphasized. Customers should have continued to have the option of visiting a car dealership based on a negative quick test result.
The top industry representative referred to the already critical phase in which the automotive trade currently finds itself: "first, the lockdown almost completely paralyzed the presence trade in the first half of the year, and when we wanted to take off again, the semiconductor crisis in the second half of the year screwed up the new car business for us. "This means that the 2021 auto year will probably be even worse than the crisis year of 2020.
Karpinski emphasized: "we are fully behind the goal of successfully combating the corona pandemic by increasing the vaccination rate". However, access restrictions for car dealerships would not be a suitable instrument for this purpose.
Sharp drop in sales predicted
Against the backdrop of the introduction of the 2G rule, the institut der deutschen wirtschaft (IW) expects stationary retail sales to fall by around 5.3 billion euros in december. The introduction will hit smaller businesses particularly hard, IW expert Christian Rusche told the redaktionsnetzwerk deutschland (RND/Thursday). In his opinion, many owners would probably consider "whether it is still worthwhile to open the store. For this reason, it would make sense to extend financial aid to the retail companies affected and remove bureaucratic hurdles to the granting of aid."
The German trade association also fears considerable sales losses of up to 50 percent for the companies affected. "After the already debilitating lockdowns of the past few months, this is not something many people can cope with.", chief executive stefan genth told the funke media group. He called on politicians to withdraw these measures – "otherwise the retail trade will experience a debacle at the end of the year".