Most Florida dealers fend off devastating Hurricane Ian

The Florida Dealer Association explained that the retailer was relatively unscathed afterward. Hurricane Ian Car factories and dealerships in Carolina have closed in anticipation of being the next target of the storm.

Volvo S60 sedan factory Volvo Cars USA said in a statement that Mercedes Splinter and Metris Van Factory Closed about 15 miles to the Atlantic coast on Friday. Together, the factories employ about 3,100 people.

The storm swept across Florida and weakened into a tropical storm, but regained hurricane strength after reaching the Atlantic on Thursday. launched about 300 miles of coastline.

North Carolina Auto Dealers Association president Robert Glaser said Friday morning that potential route dealers were closing and sending staff home.

“It’s raining on the side,” Glazer said. However, he said Ian appears to be less of a problem for North Carolina than other storms that have remained in North Carolina in recent years.

Glazer said most dealers “have pretty good real estate,” and state retailers know how to prepare for a hurricane.

“We’ve been through this drill before,” he said.

Hurricane Ian caused “catastrophic flooding” in Florida, cutting power to 2.7 million people, according to the Florida Emergency Management Agency. But Ted Smith, president of the Florida Auto Dealers Association, said the owner he spoke with on Thursday did not see any significant damage to the store on the state’s Gulf Coast.

However, some dealers in Lee County, including Fort Myers and Cape Coral, have yet to hear back. Ian made landfall northwest of Fort Her Myers Wednesday afternoon as a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of 145 mph.

Smith said he heard that several Gettel Automotive stores in Charlotte County, just north of Lee, had been damaged, but the extent of the damage was not clear.

“We’re just waiting to hear what’s going on in Lee County,” Smith said. “That’s where it looks most disruptive.”

Ed Morse Automotive Group’s four dealerships in Brandon and Tampa have escaped the worst of the storm, although they are still experiencing damage from flooding and debris, CEO Teddy Morse said Thursday.

Inland retailers also seem to have weathered the storm well.

“There are no reports of major damage,” Evelyn Cardenas, CEO of the Central Florida Auto Dealers Association, wrote in an email on Friday. “There are only reports of shops being completely flooded, mostly due to nearby reservoir overflows. Most dealers are open today.” Cape Coral and Fort Myers on either Thursday and Friday. phone calls to several dealers were not answered or passed. The websites of three Jermaine Automotive Group dealers in Naples, Fla., displayed a message that they were “closed until further notice.”

“We are still evaluating the impact on our Fort Myers stores and are focused on supporting our employees and the community during this difficult time,” said CarMax spokeswoman Jennifer Baltusiak. The retailer said it has a relief fund for employees experiencing hardships.

Morse said flooded vehicles could be a problem for the industry, not just in Florida, but in Carolina. Many dealerships across the country were already short on supplies of new and used vehicles.

“It worries me that there are dealers who may be so starved of their inventory that they may be paying more than they should for a flood-damaged car,” Morse said. When the two things collide now, there’s still a need for people to throw away used cars and flooded cars, which can get a little hairy.”

John Huetter, Drew Goretzka, Hannah Brock, and Urvaksh Karkaria contributed to this report.. Most Florida dealers fend off devastating Hurricane Ian

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