(WEST CHESTER, Pa. May 11, 2020) — Helping their clients and doing what is right for the automotive retail industry has exploded into a full-blown mission for the team at Strategic Diversified, a West Chester, Pa.-based F&I consultancy, as they are now providing a coronavirus disinfectant that will disinfect a car or truck, without doing any damage to a vehicle’s interior, for just over a penny, and is offering the product — at their cost.
Rob Volatile, CEO of Strategic Diversified has more than 30 years of experience in the industry, and said when Covid-19 lockdowns began he quickly understood the ramifications for automotive retailers still able sell and service vehicles during the pandemic and afterwards.
“Every provider of F&I products and services has some type of cleaning or chemical-related treatments it offers to consumers,” he said. “We began to see companies popping up all over the Internet offering dealers products that would disinfect vehicles.”
Product costs, Volatile said, were all over the place. Some claimed their could clean a vehicle with a product that would cost a $1, while others claimed their product would disinfect a vehicle for $50, and all price points in between.
“With business being slow, we formed a committee in-house and began looking at the products to determine their efficacy and value from a cost standpoint,” Volatile said.
It was the math that drove the effort. Volatile said the average dealership selling 200 units a month will provide 600 test drives and perform 800 ROs a month.
“Because dealers would have to disinfect a vehicle after every oil change and after every test drive to ensure the safety of their employees and customers,” Volatile said, “you can quickly see that at $10 a car, $14,000 a month would become a new fixed cost that dealers would be unable to pass along to anyone.”
Volatile made a call to an old friend in California he had worked with a decade ago whose company, Granitize, manufactures and distributes a variety of chemical products, including a EPA registered disinfectant called Sani-Quat. This product, which kills 99.9 percent of all viruses and bacteria, but does not harm the plastics, hard surfaces, chrome, leather, upholstery, comes in gallons of concentrate and is added to water.
“Because it is concentrated, one gallon of the product can disinfect about 12,000 vehicles,” Volatile said. “The product must be ordered in four-gallon increments for $144 plus shipping costs. This leaves plenty of Sani-Quat to clean the dealership’s facilities.”
The product is used by many Big Box retailers who use pressurized sprayers to disinfect their facilities overnight, Volatile noted.
“Dealers should consider the marketing and advertising benefits as well,” Volatile noted. “Not only can they say every vehicle is disinfected as it enters and leaves the facility alleviating the concerns of consumers, they can donate a gallon to churches, community organizations, first responders or become a disinfectant location for other businesses like Uber drivers, limousine services, or delivery services. The list is really endless when you really get to thinking about it.”
Volatile said he’s been asked why he’s offering the service at cost, rather than profiting off of what is bound to be a product with high-volume sales.
“It’s not right to try to profit off a pandemic,” Volatile said. “We were very disappointed by what we considered price gouging, especially from our competitors in the marketplace. Yes, we only make money when our dealer clients sell vehicles and our products, so we have a vested interest in their success. In our view, however, providing the product that isn’t readily available to dealers except through a distributor will help everyone in the industry. It’s at times like this that you find out who people truly are by their actions. We feel we’ve acted in the best interests of our industry.”
For more information on how to order the product, visit Strategic Diversified’s website, strategicdiversified.com. Information about Sani-Quat and how to order it will be front and center. You can reach Strategic Diversified by call (800) 708-2227.
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