Your Next Car-Buying Experience Will Be Cleaner Thanks to Automakers' Efforts

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  • The new keyword is: clean.
  • Car companies want you to feel like there’s no chance that you’ll expose yourself to COVID-19 if you decide to buy a new car during the pandemic, so they’re changing the normal ways of doing business.
  • GM has started a new CLEAN dealership program, Ford is expanding employee testing for COVID-19, and Hyundai is even looking at self-sanitizing vehicles, but that’s several years from practical use.

Numerous automakers have introduced new methods to their vehicle delivery processes in an effort to emphasize sanitized vehicles and contactless delivery. Here are a few of the early efforts, and surely many more will follow across the car-buying landscape.

GM: Extra-Clean Dealerships

For General Motors, the keyword isn’t clean, but CLEAN. That’s not an acronym, but a voluntary program that GM dealerships can sign up for if they agree to follow CDC guidelines for regular business operations and to use CDC- or EPA-approved disinfectants to clean the building and vehicles, both in the showroom and before delivery to customers.

general motors announced an initiative inviting us dealers to participate in a program embracing centers for disease control and prevention guidelines in the operations of their businesses

General Motors

Fair warning, though. The Chevrolet CLEAN website says, “Neither the Chevy Clean Program nor a dealer’s enrollment in the Program should be deemed to state or imply that any dealer’s cleaning activities can eliminate or prevent transmission of any virus, illness or disease.”

ford plant signage about coronavirus
New COVID-19 signage in Ford plants.


Ford: Worker Testing

It’s not just dealerships where automakers are changing their policies. As manufacturing starts to ramp back up in some areas, Ford announced this weekend that it would expand COVID-19 testing for hourly and salaried employees who have suspected symptoms in four areas: southeastern Michigan; Louisville, Kentucky; Kansas City; and Chicago, with more to come. The tests should produce results in 24 hours and, if an employee tests positive, they and other workers who had close contact with them will be asked to self-quarantine for 14 days.

Hyundai: Clean by UV

Hyundai is thinking about ways to keep future cars clean as well. Antimicrobial interior surfaces have been included in some vehicles since 2011, but the company says that the most promising technology it has investigated for the future is ultraviolet lamps. UV lights are “medically and scientifically proven to be effective,” Hyundai says, even though “direct UV rays are well known to be harmful to human skin.”

Hyundai’s light-sterilization technique is still in planning stages.


The idea right now seems to be adding a UV lamp to the dome light and have it turn on when no one is in the car. This would not help areas where the light rays don’t reach, Hyundai says it is planning to develop interior cabin lights with a sterilization feature, and might combine UV rays with a photocatalytic reduction of CO2 to sterilize the air in the vehicle cabin.

Other parts of the Hyundai corporate empire have also thought about new cleanliness features. Hyundai Engineering & Construction, for example, will soon showcase its fine dust solution called “H Cleanα 2.0,” a way to kill all germs and viruses in an enclosed area, like an apartment or elevator.

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Source: Motor -


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