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Great Falls auto dealer says business remains steady

Posted at 2:50 PM, May 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-20 16:50:01-04

While some things are at a standstill in terms of business, the pandemic isn't putting the brakes on car purchases.

Dan Clowes, general manager at Taylor's Auto Max in Great Falls, says they've seen steady sales over the past few months.

Clowes says they've been able to take advantage of low interest rates with deals for customers. He also told MTN News it’s a good time to refinance auto loans with bank confidence high for the foreseeable future.

But inventory uncertainty looms as some auto manufacturers slowly turn the gears on production capacities.

Clowes has two GMC trucks left on his lot and 50 units in the system. He says they received word factories started back up Monday and is anxious to have a full inventory once again. "It's hard to forecast business needs, staffing, budgets, marketing when you're trying to guess what your sales are going to be, especially if you don’t know you’re going to have anything to sell so we're eagerly anticipating that getting better here shortly." Clowes says they haven't seen as much inventory uncertainty from Nissan.

Clowes says they’re making sure customers and staff feel safe at work. They’re wiping down areas frequently and have a cleaning crew coming in at night to spray down surfaces with a bleach mixture.

They’ve also consulted National Laundry chemical expert Dennis Fowler on the best ways to ensure a healthy environment.

Taylor’s AutoMax is not requiring serious buyers to wear masks when out test driving a vehicle but staff are wiping down high-touch areas after each trip.

For customers who aren’t comfortable coming into the store or test-driving a vehicle, Clowes says there are options.

They’re doing free deliveries to buyers in Montana and free test drives to serious buyers in the Great Falls area. “If somebody wants to buy a car in Glendive, we will get it to them,” he said. “They never have to come into the showroom.”

The store furloughed employees back in March but all have since returned.