In a sign of hopeful thinking, leading U.S. auto listings site CarGurus will reduce its coronavirus-related discounts for dealers. After cutting subscription bills by 50% in April and May, CarGurus will narrow the discount to 20% in June.
Explaining the decision, CarGurus cited in-house research predicting an uptick in car sales as summer approaches.
“An April survey by CarGurus showed that 73% of U.S. car shoppers surveyed say they plan to buy a car in 2020,” CarGurus explained in a statement. “Among those shoppers, 49% plan to purchase a vehicle in the next three months and only 8% of those who were planning to buy in 2020 before the pandemic said they were delaying their purchase indefinitely.”
CarGurus, which leads U.S. listings sites in terms of traffic and revenue, had around 36,000 dealer clients at the end of 2019, according to the company’s most recent quarterly report.
But with dealerships struggling to stay afloat during the pandemic, the client count in recent weeks has likely shrunk dramatically.
CarMax, the largest used car dealership in the U.S., stated in its annual report that half of its 216 stores nationwide had closed or reduced operations, while sales volumes at open dealerships were down at least 50% year-on-year in March and early April.