Pent-up demand, stimulus checks, and the hope that we are past wave one of COVID-19 has spurred the recovery of US leads on CarGurus. Total lead volume is now above early-February levels.
However, not every sector of the vehicle market has seen the same recovery. For example, we know that demand for higher-priced vehicles has returned quicker than lower-priced vehicles, but each vehicle segment has behaved differently. Most notably, the electric vehicle (EV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) segments.
Our product teams have been working hard to improve CarGurus’ financing feature, the latest way we’re helping you connect with low-funnel shoppers. With the improved financing feature, shoppers are able to prequalify for financing with lenders you already work with right from the VDP. Some reasons you’ll want to use the financing feature are:
As states begin to reopen and CarGurus leads trend upward again, it seems we might be through the trough. These signs indicate that the US might soon emerge from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we must be cautiously optimistic because it’s unlikely that the unemployment rate has reached its peak or that we are fully in recovery mode. And for the auto industry, there is an additional headwind on the horizon: credit availability.
While demand for vehicles is growing—US lead volume on CarGurus has nearly returned to the same level as February—the sales bounce back in the auto market may be tempered by the availability of credit.
More than ever, dealerships are being forced to adapt to constant changes. In a recent Dealer Marketing Magazine article, Ashley Karr, CarGurus’ VP of Global Dealer Marketing, interviewed Joseph Davis, the E-commerce Director at Ewing Automotive Group. They spoke about his process for handling internet sales leads and his actionable advice for sales and marketing leaders at other dealerships.
Check out the full article:
States across the country are starting their phased process of reopening the economy. In many places, that means previously shut down dealership showrooms are opening their doors for the first time in months. Since the COVID-19 virus can survive on many types of surfaces, concerns about transmission has set new expectations for car cleanliness. As you get ready to get back to work, your customers expect a different kind of safety protocol for disinfecting cars—whether it’s for test drives or service appointments—and interacting with the public. So it’s important that you clearly communicate the steps you’re taking to keep them safe.
While I personally think we’re weeks, if not months, away from knowing exactly how long the economy will take to fully rebound, consumers are coming back—and they’re submitting leads. In fact, U.S. leads* on CarGurus are almost at the same level they were at the start of February. Yes, February generally represents a smaller share of units sold than March and April, but the fact that consumer interest is trending up this early is a positive sign.
While total U.S. lead volume on CarGurus has nearly returned to the same level as February, lead volume varies by price bucket, and I’ll dig deeper into this below.
New vehicle sales seasonality has always been rather predictable. The end of the fiscal year, the model year changeover, Labor Day, and the end of the year have always led to stronger months in March, May, August/September, and December.
However, during recessions, seasonality trends break from their normal patterns—and this year is no exception. While we know the patterns will be different due to COVID-19, the variation is difficult to predict. That’s because the prolonged impact of the pandemic, which has led to stay-at-home orders, record jobless claims, declining consumer confidence, delayed tax returns, usage of stimulus checks, and increased OEM incentive spend is still relatively unknown. This makes 2020 unlike any other.
We want to highlight the key initiatives our Consumer Marketing team are working on to drive consumer adoption of the vital Contactless Services dealers like you are providing right now.
We’ve added an onsite banner on cargurus.com that promotes safer shopping with CarGurus. Shoppers will also see an expandable modal window on the homepage explaining the new filters and what they mean.
Dealers have always been known as pillars of their community, supporting charities, local organizations, and residents during times of need—and the COVID-19 crisis is no exception. Even as many have had to temporarily close their doors or adjust their operations, car dealers across the country are still doing their best to give back and support their communities as they weather the COVID-19 crisis.
We all need a little positivity in our lives right now, so we’ll be highlighting stories of local dealers pitching in to help. Below is our first inspiring story of one dealer making a difference in his community. We’ll be updating this post regularly, so please share your own with us!
While overall car shopping traffic is still significantly down compared to previous years, we’re starting to see some positive signs that consumers are beginning to return to their car purchasing plans. Demand has started to return as consumers realize that they can still research and sometimes purchase that vehicle they need.
Here are some of the indicators we’re watching: