- April 20, 2020

COVID-19 and its Continued Impact on the Auto Industry

Dennis Bulgarelli
Dennis Bulgarelli
Vice President, Auto

As we enter the second month of stay-at-home measures, the U.S. economy continues to reel. The automotive industry in particular has been hit hard, with Comscore data showing a 25 percent decline in new vehicle demand year-over-year as of mid-March 2020. 

While it appears to be stabilizing in the early weeks of April, demand is still down year-over-year. Auto dealers are working to survive as well as they can and online and contactless sales promotions are emerging faster than ever as dealers adjust to a “new normal.”

Comscore’s In-Market New Vehicle Demand Indicator has been tracking consumer demand since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. This data is an early indicator of industry health and provides insight into what is on the horizon for the auto industry. It is measured via engagement with lower funnel shopping KPIs across 40+ third party automotive shopping sites, such KBB, CarGurus and Edmunds.

In prior editions, we have reported significant declines in weekly new vehicle demand compared to the same period in 2019. Demand in the last two weeks of March 2020 fell more than 30 percent compared to the same period in the year prior. Since then, however, and through the week of April 5, 2020, demand has leveled off. In fact, the week of April 5, 2020 saw a slight uptick in demand from the week prior, with an increase of 12 percent week over week.
 

In-Market New Vehicle Shoppers - Weekly

 

While we could be in for a long recovery and the way forward still remains largely unknown, early data shows a rebound may be just around the corner. Manufacturers are discussing dates for assembly plant reopenings and the country is looking to return to some sense of normalcy. In the meantime, existing inventories should be able to accommodate pent-up demand from prospects returning to the market.

To learn more about our automotive insights,  contact us today.

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