As the economic data catches up with the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re poised to start seeing many economic indicators at historic levels or levels we haven’t seen since the Great Depression. One example of this is jobless claims, also referred to as unemployment claims, which set a new record the week ending March 28, 2020, when 6.6 million people filed for unemployment.
While the number of jobless claims set a record at the federal level, the impact at the state level has also been unprecedented. In the coming weeks, many states will surpass the number of claims filed throughout the entirety of 2019—and that’s if they haven’t already.
The automotive sector has played a role in the jobless claims number, but due to self-isolation policies, leisure, hospitality, and retail have had the largest impact. A turnaround will happen though. When the self-isolation guidance from the federal and state levels ends, Americans will resurface and go out once again. Demand for services and goods (like vehicles) will return and the jobs will follow, but it might take some time before we reach a new normal.
As part of our ongoing commitment to partner with our customers during this crisis, we wanted to let you know that we are extending our 50% discount for all dealer customers through May.
The details are exactly the same as they were in April: you don’t need to ask for it, it will apply to all subscription services provided in May, and you’ll continue to receive your full level of CarGurus service. It’s part of our dedication to doing what we can to help you navigate your way through this situation and back to normal business operations.
It’s worth mentioning that those normal business operations will return. In fact, we’re still seeing considerable shopping activity in our US marketplace, and it’s possible that we’ll see a surge of car buying activity when dealerships reopen and those customers regain their confidence. The pent-up demand for vehicles will still be there, and dealerships who start building a pipeline through digital marketing and relationship-building now will be better positioned to take advantage of it.
Most dealers have been feeling anxiety over what this COVID-19 pandemic means for their business and employees. On March 27, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law. The $2 trillion CARES Act includes financial relief for individual Americans, as well as small businesses across the country. In addition, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, passed into law on March 6, provides an additional $8.3 billion in emergency federal funding.
With these new financial relief acts in place, where do you start? Here’s a quick rundown of the financial resources available and how to get started seeking the support you deserve.
The COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly reshaping large parts of our daily lives – more quickly than some businesses can adapt. In our industry, dealers, vendors, and OEMs are facing incredible uncertainty and business pressures as consumers stay home and governments shut down operations.
CarGurus is determined to be a supportive partner through this situation. That’s why we wanted to let you know that due to the incredible impact of the virus and the restrictions being put in place across the country, we have decided to make some temporary changes to free and paid CarGurus Listings services, effective 4/1.
Specifically, we’re offering a suspended activity option to our paying customers who choose to cancel their subscriptions with us due to the crisis, whether their states were shut down by official orders or not. Our goal is to give our customers immediate financial relief while maintaining the best possible shopping experience for our car-buying audience, as well as giving our dealers a jump start when they’re ready to get back to business after the situation returns to normal. Here are the details of the suspended activity option:
COVID-19 is disrupting nearly all facets of the US economy, and as many dealers are experiencing, the domestic automotive market is no exception. As Director of Industry Analytics at CarGurus, I’ll be posting regular updates about economic developments impacting your business, including developments that signal recovery, which will come.
To shape my analysis of the evolving situation, I’m tracking a variety of indicators. This post provides an overview of those indicators and explains why they matter for the automotive category. Some are traditional economic indicators, which are weeks if not months behind and will not account for the full impact of COVID. Others are consumer behavior indicators, which help to identify real-time changes in consumer patterns.
(The following email went out to our dealer customers on 3/18. We’ve heard that it didn’t reach everyone we wanted to, so we’re republishing it here.)
One of CarGurus’ core values is Integrity – and that drives our commitment to being a partner in the community. As the COVID-19 situation continues to unfold around the world, we wanted to let you know that we at CarGurus are thinking of all our customers and partners, hoping you, your family, and your employees are safe.
It’s an unprecedented situation, and we, like you, are working hard to adapt to the rapidly evolving circumstances. We know the crisis is already hitting many dealers hard, but the impact is varied. Some areas are nearing total shutdown, others are not yet impacted. Similarly, our lead volumes remain surprisingly strong in many regions, while they’re weaker in harder-hit areas.
Whatever your situation is, we’re committed to trying to give you the support you need to reach your best possible results during this challenging time. To that end:
- We are giving you 50% off of your fees for listings and display services provided in April. You don’t need to ask – we’ll apply this reduction to all dealers in the US. If you have additional questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact your account manager.
- Your subscription will still be active, your contract with us will remain effective, and you will continue to receive leads, but as buyer activity has slowed, we expect significantly lower volumes.
We hope that you and your dealership employees are staying well during this challenging time.
As developments around COVID-19 continue to evolve, we understand you are working hard to figure out how to deal with it while continuing to safely serve customers and employees. Some of our dealer customers have shared steps they’re taking to keep people safe at their dealerships and do more business digitally. We’ve compiled all of them below to help you navigate the ongoing situation.
In light of the rapidly-evolving situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, CarGurus has strongly encouraged all employees worldwide to work from home until further notice. This should not impact our ability to support our dealer customers or the consumer shopping experience on our site: CarGurus employees are well equipped to work remotely and all major business functions will continue as normal.
We are focused on the health and safety of our employees and the communities they live in. As a result, we’ve been changing in-person events and meetings to virtual events whenever possible. We’ve also asked employees to limit business travel. Local reps may choose to continue dealer visits if needed — we’re eager to help our customers as much as possible during a difficult situation.
Please reach out to your rep or 1-800-CARGURUS if you have any questions.