COVID-19 Response: Supporting our team members, customers and communities


Dear Friends of Lithia,

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to impact all of our lives, we’d like to share our efforts to support the health and safety of our teams, our customers and our communities.

Reliable transportation is recognized as critical to supporting the residents of our communities and our healthcare workers, first responders, caregivers and delivery drivers.  

Our mission, in this time, is to provide for those needs in a manner that is responsible, safe, health-conscious and adaptive while also supporting the wellbeing of our team members and their families.

To care for our employees, we have:

• Increased cleaning and sanitization of vehicles and throughout our facilities.

• Made sanitizing gel and foam stations available onsite.

• Provided our staff with specific instructions on hand washing and the importance of staying home if they are not feeling well.

• Implemented social distancing protocols, including:

- Six-foot-long reminder stickers for posting at the stores and wearable stickers for team members (also available for customers);

- Staggered seating arrangements;

- Alternated work schedules;

- Remote work option where possible, with IT and internal communications resources available to help them adjust to working from home; and

- A social distancing contest between stores to show best ideas for staying six feet apart while helping one another and customers.

• Added an additional 80 hours sick time for those impacted by coronavirus (including furloughed workers and caregivers).

• Continued to provide health benefits to furloughed workers.

- For employees and families covered on Lithia’s Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield plan, MDLive (virtual doctor visits) has been added to their plan with a $0 co-pay. Behavioral Health is also included.

- Lithia will also cover furloughed employees’ insurance premiums if out for one or more pay period in the month of April.

• Helped furloughed employees navigate additional state and federal benefits available to them.

• Continued to provide our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that provides free sessions to assist employees and their family members with work-life stressors, family issues, relationship problems and financial, substance abuse or legal concerns.

• Communicated regularly with updates on our health and safety efforts with best practices and CDC guidelines.

• Continued to provide completely free onsite medical clinics in some locations (New Jersey, Pittsburgh, Medford).

Many of the above measures also support our customers’ health, but in addition, for customers we have:

• Increased store offerings of free vehicle pick-up and delivery, with surfaces sanitized upon drop-off.

• Increased store offerings of virtual or private test drives from home or office.

• Increased payment relief options (variable by store).

As for our communities, we know that multiple businesses and healthcare systems are getting hit hard by this crisis, and we see it as our responsibility to help wherever we possibly can.

To take care of our communities:

• We have donated more than 4800 gloves and 40 pairs of protective eyewear to the Asante Foundation for our healthcare workers in Medford, Oregon.

• We have donated meals to emergency room workers in Killeen, Texas. Read News Story

• We are safely contributing and collecting donations for local food banks at 11 Pittsburgh area stores and in Wexford, PA.

• BMW of Ramsey worked with Feed the Frontlines NJ to deliver 200 meals with thankful messages to local healthcare workers, using the BMW mobile service van.

• Baierl Acura has set a goal to raise $10,000 for North Hills Community Outreach.

• Lithia Volkswagen of Des Moines is partnering with Medicap Pharmacies by providing vehicles for prescription deliveries.

• Our Baierl Chevrolet team partnered with the American Red Cross to host a blood drive.

• BMW Seattle is supporting Northwest Harvest, Washington’s statewide hunger relief agency, and Hopelink, a Washington poverty relief organization that provides food, employment, energy assistance and housing assistance to underserved communities.

• Lithia’s Spokane stores are teaming up to support Second Harvest Inland Northwest, a nonprofit that provides healthy food to over 250 distributors in Eastern Washington.

• Lithia Subaru stores are contributing thousands of meals to local food banks, as they join the Subaru Loves to Help initiative in providing 50 million meals nationwide.

• Carson Nissan supported healthcare workers by donating lunch to the medical staff at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in honor of all the hard work they do.

• We launched a social distancing contest in our stores where six winning stores received contributions toward their chosen community causes.

• DCH Freehold Toyota donated to CentraState Healthcare Foundation’s COVID-19 response.

• BMW Seattle donated to the Northwest Harvest COVID-19 Hunger Response Fund.

• Baierl Acura donated to North Hills Community Outreach.

• Carbone Nissan in Yorkville donated to Opportunity Shop , a not-for-profit retail shop that runs solely on donations and funds different programs for local families throughout the year.

• Ford Access Lincoln donated to Gulf Coast Humane Society of Corpus Christi.

• Stores are choosing to join the Do-Good Auto Coalition, an organization that matches community needs to nearby dealerships so they can fulfill requests (e.g. delivering groceries and prescriptions to the elderly or at-risk). See DCH Millburn Audi General Manager Al Khouri talk about what they are doing to help.

• We are encouraging stores to do what they can at the local level. (More stories coming soon!)

• Where deemed an essential business, we are remaining open to support the healthcare workers, delivery drivers, first responders and others in need of reliable, safe vehicles.

We thank you, our customers and our communities, for also doing everything you can to support health, safety and general wellbeing in this difficult time. We are here for you when you need us, and we will get through this together.

Our Team Helping Out