December 15th, 2015

Cox Automotive COVID-19 Research: Pandemic Concerns Wane, Displaced by Politics

ATLANTA, Oct. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite rising COVID-19 cases in many states, concerns about the pandemic seem to be waning and, in many cases, are being replaced by concern over the upcoming presidential election. Among U.S. automobile dealers, 43% believe COVID-19 and the upcoming election are both equally concerning, according to a study released today by the Cox Automotive Research & Market Intelligence team.

Cox Automotive (PRNewsfoto/Cox Automotive)

Pandemic concern peaked in the second quarter and has been moving steadily downward since summer. Still, with 61% of consumers extremely or very concerned about COVID-19, the pandemic and resulting economic struggles continue to weigh heavily on the vehicle market. The most recent data from Cox Automotive indicates the percent of consumers in market for a new vehicle, at 14%, has dropped to the lowest level in 2020.  

"COVID-19: Tracking U.S. Consumer and Automotive Dealer Sentiment" is ongoing research from Cox Automotive designed to shed light on consumer and automobile dealer attitudes and behaviors during the pandemic. The research began in late March and has been updated regularly through mid-October. Key takeaways from the latest report include:

  1. Consumer concern over COVID-19 continues to decline. Concern over the pandemic peaked in April, with 71% of consumers extremely/very concerned. After dropping through the summer, consumer concern now stands at a still-high 61%. Financial concerns persist for many consumers as well, resulting in fewer shoppers in market. The auto market rebound that dealers were experiencing this summer has stalled.
  2. As the presidential election approaches, it's occupying more mindshare with both consumers and dealers. Among auto dealers, 43% believe COVID-19 and the upcoming election are both equally concerning. In no great surprise, consumers are mostly split on how the outcome will impact them personally. Dealers are more definitive, with a larger percentage expecting better financial performance should the current administration prevail in the election.
  3. Uncertainty around COVID-19 continues to drive financial concern for many consumers and has amplified the need to evolve for some dealers. The prospect of another year like 2020 has consumers concerned for their financial stability, with 1 in 5 depleting their savings in 2021 should the pandemic continue. For dealers, it's clear they are more open to considering new ways of doing business than ever before. Three out of four dealers are now conducting some of their business beyond their dealerships, embracing digital retail and service pick-up and delivery activities.

Download the report summary to learn more details.

About Cox Automotive
Cox Automotive Inc. makes buying, selling, owning and using cars easier for everyone. The global company's 34,000-plus team members and family of brands, including Autotrader®, Clutch Technologies,®, Dealertrack®, Kelley Blue Book®, Manheim®, NextGear Capital®, VinSolutions®, vAuto® and Xtime®, are passionate about helping millions of car shoppers, 40,000 auto dealer clients across five continents and many others throughout the automotive industry thrive for generations to come. Cox Automotive is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises Inc., a privately-owned, Atlanta-based company with annual revenues of $21 billion.

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SOURCE Cox Automotive

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