At Navigate last year, CarGurus founder and CEO Langley Steinert sat down with Automotive News Publisher Jason Stein to chat. During their conversation, Langley spoke about Covid as a catalyst for change in the industry and highlighted the importance of innovation—by dealers and CarGurus. Watch this 3-minute video for the highlights:
In October, business leader and author Peter Sheahan took the virtual stage at CarGurus Navigate to share his strategies for growth with dealers from around the world. In his presentation, How to Turn Challenge into Opportunity and Change into Competitive Advantage, Peter explained why it is crucial that dealers adapt and gave tips for navigating today’s challenging selling environment. In particular, he described three steps for a transformation journey that helps dealers accelerate growth in a disrupted world:
Nine months in and the Covid pandemic continues to sweep across the globe, impacting nearly every industry, including automotive. To keep a pulse on the virus’s impact on car shopping sentiments, CarGurus has surveyed over 2,000 car shoppers over three separate studies and benchmarked the results. Here, we break down our latest COVID-19 Sentiment Study conducted in November and share key takeaways on digital retail, supply, and financing.
For the past two years, CarGurus has surveyed pickup truck owners on their sentiments towards the category, its brands, and its vehicles. This year, we conducted an iteration of the study in early February before the coronavirus shutdowns and benchmarked it with one in September. What we found is that the Covid-19 pandemic has spurred demand, especially among younger car shoppers, but affordability concerns remain in the category.
Inventory acquisition has long been a pain point for dealers. It requires a combination of data, precedent, and dealer’s intuition to keep a lot stocked with in-demand vehicles that will move. And that’s before you consider other factors that fluctuate like changing consumer behavior, economic trends, and unanticipated events that affect supply and demand.
Dealers have been weathering changes and adapting their strategies for decades. However, the Covid-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on the industry—particularly, on supply. It’s led to auctions moving online, manufacturing plants being shut down by OEMs, lease extensions, and an overall shift in consumers’ preferences. Together, these variables have added up to a shortage of quality new and used vehicles unlike ever before.
To get a pulse on the topic of supply and hear some ways dealers can adapt, we checked in with CarGurus’ Dealer Relations Team Lead, Benjamin Sacks.
For a deeper dive into the current state of the economy, it’s important to look beyond traditional economic and automotive data and look more generally at consumer behavior. In around eight minutes, I’ll walk you through the importance of a variety of indicators I’m keeping a pulse on, including:
- Gross movie sales
- OpenTable seated diners data
- Hotel occupancy rates
- TSA checkpoint data
- Gasoline consumption
- Public transportation turnstile entries
Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, car dealers were already facing questions about what the future of the industry would look like. With consumers’ preferences changing and advancements in digital retailing strategies continuing to be made, many have been at least starting to think about tactics like online financing and home delivery. But the current health crisis has accelerated many of these trends, and today’s dealers must adapt to a new normal.
Like most businesses across the country, dealers have been taking more proactive steps to ensure consumers’ safety at the dealership, rearranging showroom layouts to support social distancing, increasing cleaning measures, and more. According to CarGurus COVID-19 Sentiment Study, among current prospective buyers, top expectations for dealer visits to purchase or service a vehicle include:
The current pandemic has had an economic impact on nearly every sector and the auto industry is no exception. It’s left many car dealers feeling the need to tighten their belts in terms of marketing spend. But whether you just had your strongest month yet or sales are a slow trickle at your dealership, your digital marketing investment should remain a priority.
Here are three mistakes you should avoid making with your marketing during today’s pandemic.
One of the most recent issues in the auto industry that’s come to light due to COVID-19 is the tightening of credit among banks. In under 15 minutes, I’ll discuss how these changes in financing and lending impact car shoppers—and what that means for dealers. Watch this video to learn:
As consumers emerge from lockdown, change travel plans, and reconsider what mobility will look like in the long-term, vehicles are becoming even more vital to everyday life, according to our latest COVID-19 Sentiment Study in the US. In fact, one-third of those surveyed said they expect to use their car more going forward than before the pandemic.
In the near-term, 49% of respondents say they see their car as an escape or for fun. Additionally, 45% say they expect to use their car for more road trips or longer drives, while 72% of those planning to travel this year say they intend to drive, rather than fly, for at least one trip.