Auto Industry Insights How the online automotive buying audience is shifting

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Examining how COVID-19 is changing the automotive sector

While every industry has been affected by COVID-19, automotive was hit hard and quickly. Stay-at-home orders across the country have posed new challenges, as car sales usually take place in-person and many dealers have had to temporarily close.

With so much volatility in the automotive sector, manufacturers and dealers need to have the ability to understand the striking behavior shifts of the car buyer in the time of COVID-19, and have the right tools in place to rapidly adjust their targeting, messaging and spend at just the right time.

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Automotive site traffic over time segmented by manufacturer and dealer

However, when we segment by manufacturer and dealer sites, we can see that the negative impact of COVID-19 has been much greater for manufacturer sites. The shift in favor of dealer sites began just after the first significant drop in the US stock market on February 24th. At the same time, many manufacturers began pulling down brand advertising, to adjust strategies and messaging, while many local dealers scrambled to find innovative ways to operate under the newly imposed regional restrictions.

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