Weeks after Fast Lane's launch, much has changed for the stores — and the entire country.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker ordered all nonessential businesses to close until April 7, effectively halting even remote sales for Mastria. With only the service departments functional, Brito sent home 95 percent of his 325 employees.
But Robert O'Koniewski, executive vice president of the Massachusetts State Automobile Dealers Association, advised the state's 425 franchised dealerships to proceed with virtual sales and remote deliveries.
"Dealers have set it up so that they're making arrangements online for sales [and] paperwork," O'Koniewski said. "So it's minimally intrusive and remotely done and it's just in keeping with what the governor wants people to do."
Prior to the March 24 closing, Fast Lane activity rose to unprecedented highs. Of the 367 new and used vehicles the store sold before closing, Brito said about 140 sold through Fast Lane.
Digital retailing leads had increased 19 percent across stores in that time frame. Following the latest state dealer association's guidance, Mastria plans to deliver nine purchase agreements it received since the order.
F&I presentations began at the stores without any previous testing. Over FaceTime, Mastria's F&I managers are presenting F&I products to customers and finishing the deal with them on a shared screen.
"This was part of the reason why I decided to partner with Darwin," Brito said. "You have those capabilities."
Brito is focused on a new task force which discusses how the stores will function as the coronavirus pandemic spreads. Brito notes that customers can still engage with the dealerships through the Fast Lane tool, preparing car deals for when the stores reopen and deliver vehicles again.
"All of this is going to change fundamentally how we do business with our consumers in the future overall," Brito said.
Lindsay VanHulle contributed to this report