Sligo firm uncovers worrying trends for car industry

Online consumer interest in buying new or second-hand cars has dropped dramatically as a result of the current Covid emergency.

A digital survey conducted by Sligo based web-development company, Dmac Media has detected that searches for car purchases were down 81 per cent from March 2019 to March of this year.

The number of people searching for cars reduced by 43 per cent alone during March 2020.

Dmac Media’s report entitled: The Digital Fallout for Car Dealers from Covid-19 revealed:

  • Online searches for car purchases are down 81 per cent from 971,020 (March 2019) to 104,550 (March 2020)
  • The number of individuals searching for cars is reduced by43 per cent in March 2020.
  • A 96% decline in searches for used cars, from 541,790 during March 2019 to just 23,310 in March this year.
  • Search interest for specific brands i.e. ‘Toyota’ contracted by 25%year on year.
  • A staggering 85% decline for model specific searches for example ‘Toyota Corolla’ compared with last year.
  • Three of the top-10 selling models in January 2020 reached their lowest levels of search interest since 2011.*
  • The number of enquiries generated on car dealer websites fell by 61% versus the same period last year.
  • Car finance searches have contracted by 45%.
  • The decline in the number of finance applications processed by websites has fallen by 83%.
  • The visitor to enquiry rate fell by 30% throughout the month of March 2020.

Dave McEvoy, Director of Dmac Media, says that any recovery in the car sales industry will be evident online before it is seen in dealerships.