Dear Valued Dealer Partners—
The health and safety of our employees, our clients and our local communities is our number one priority. We are continuing to monitor COVID-19 developments closely and are doing our part to prevent further spread of the virus while taking the necessary steps to maintain business continuity for all of our clients.
We can assure you that Edmunds products and services will continue in an uninterrupted fashion. While we value a close consultancy with all of our partners, we will be limiting in-person dealer visits to protect the safety and well-being of our dealer partners and our employees. Rest assured that your sales representative will remain fully available to support you as usual by phone, video conference and email. At Edmunds we are well prepared for remote sales; our Inside Sales team manages a robust system specifically designed to support remote sales which means that our salesforce is able to continue delivering best-in-class services to our dealer partners from any location without disruption.
Our team of experts is closely tracking the potential impact of COVID-19 on consumer shopper behavior and the automotive industry at large. While the information is changing rapidly, here are some initial insights we can provide you at this time:
- An initial look at online traffic and impressions suggests that the overall market is in a softer place right now, which does not come as a surprise given the news cycle and how rapidly the situation has changed across the country in the last week.
- Current patterns of traffic decline are consistent across new, used transaction and research pages and across all times of day, possibly indicating that consumers across the board are more distracted by the current news cycle, but we are continuing to assess whether this decline correlates to a real pullback.
- The impact we’re seeing on organic traffic for the past few days is 10% greater on average for smartphones versus desktop. This is not surprising, given the increased time shoppers are spending at home.
- We’ve also seen a 32% increase in our social media and video engagement over the last 72 hours, demonstrating shoppers’ demand for Edmunds’ expert editorial content.
Across the industry, there are some early signs of encouragement including the goodwill gestures from Ford and Hyundai--with other automakers likely to follow suit--on payment relief for car owners experiencing financial hardship, and the Fed rate cut that will help drive down interest rates and help keep sales in a healthier place once regular life resumes.
As history has proven, the automotive industry is resilient, continues to play an absolutely critical role as the backbone to the American economy, and knows when to band together to overcome the greatest challenges in the market. There’s no direct comparison to what’s happening today, but following other significant disruptions in the market shoppers tend to shift their immediate demand for vehicles into the near future, and we expect them to continue conducting their automotive research from the comfort of their homes.
As your partner, we are committed to supporting you as we navigate and adapt to this shifting landscape together and appreciate your continued partnership. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns. We send our best wishes for the health and safety of you and your loved ones.