As COVID-19 restrictions continue and even increase in pockets across Canada, automotive sales have been remarkably resilient. Consumers who formerly relied on public transit or ride-hailing are buying cars for the first time or replacing their existing vehicles, spurred on by the social distance they naturally provide.
But do automotive dealers need to worry about another decline as we head into winter and a second wave? From the perspective of complete shutdowns, most likely not: the lessons learned through the initial spring lockdowns are allowing dealerships and other low-risk businesses to continue operating with the right measures in place.
However, some tweaks to the systems and mindsets put in place in April and May could help dealers stay ahead of the unforeseen challenges through the colder months.
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.
And just like that, CarGurus’ second annual Navigate automotive conference has come to an end. During a year that’s been anything but normal, it was great to have more than 700 dealers and industry partners from the US, UK, and Canada come together to share ideas and strategies for growing their businesses during this unique time. To everyone who attended this year’s event—thank you, and we hope to see you in person next year!
In the meantime, here are a few of the key themes from the event:
Don’t miss Navigate, CarGurus’ second annual automotive conference, coming straight to you virtually on October 26th & 27th. We’re gearing up for an amazing two days filled with fresh approaches, the latest industry trends, and speakers you won’t hear anywhere else. Can’t attend live? No problem. Register today to get access to all the sessions next week, so you can watch at your own pace.
See what’s in store:
Last year, CarGurus introduced the world to a new kind of automotive conference: Navigate. This year, we’re going virtual—and it’s less than a week away!
We’ve got an exceptional agenda planned, and we’re thrilled to announce the latest session at Navigate:
We hope you have your calendars marked for Navigate, CarGurus’ second annual automotive conference, on October 26th & 27th. This year, the event has been reimagined: it will be held virtually and for free!
We’ve got an outstanding agenda planned—there’s sure to be something for everyone, from dealership owners and GMs to sales staff and marketing managers. With so much to experience at Navigate, we’ve highlighted some of the sessions you won’t want to miss below.
Dealers have always been known for their charitable giving, partnering with food pantries, sponsoring local baseball teams, and most recently supporting hospital staff and first responders. Last month, we launched our Driving Difference contest as a way to celebrate and reward those helping out in their communities. We asked dealers to share on social media what they’ve been doing to spread positivity and use #DrivingDifference. We received entries from dealers across the country and, after weeks of anticipation, we are thrilled to announce our winners!
The winners of the $1,000 prize were selected by a panel of judges based on factors like the impact of their work and creativity. Check out the winning dealers and their entries below:
CarGurus is excited to announce the rename and launch of Area Boost (previously ‘Delivery Indicator’) to our dealer partners. Area Boost is our newest offering that helps dealers expand their reach by showing their deliverable listings to shoppers outside their local market.
By making it easy for low-funnel shoppers to find the exact cars they want, dealers with Area Boost are able to compete in low-supply markets that they weren’t previously reaching. Especially in today’s unique selling environment when most car shoppers would prefer to use contactless services during the purchase process, this product provides a simple way for dealers to increase their exposure and convert a larger audience of shoppers. Participating Area Boost dealers see on average 35% more vehicle detail page views from shoppers in their target market.
This October, hundreds of dealers, partners, and industry experts from around the globe will join us virtually for CarGurus’ second annual Navigate conference. The two-day, online event will be packed with a variety of valuable presentations and workshops, including a captivating keynote session from Peter Sheahan, Founder and CEO of Karrikins Group.
Peter and his team at Karrikins Group have worked with some of the world’s most recognizable brands, including Apple, Goldman Sachs, Microsoft, Hyundai, IBM, Pfizer, Wells Fargo, and Cardinal Health, helping them accelerate growth and transformation within their business. He’s established himself across the world for his innovative business thinking and thought leadership.