COVID-19 and the Altered Automotive Industry

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to adversely affect industries nationwide. The auto industry has faced many challenges before, including the 2008 auto industry bailout and wars over oil, but the economic impact of the current pandemic has proved historic. The effects of the virus are reducing the overall production rate of vehicles and, therefore, profit.

Before the pandemic, the vast industry functioned differently. The purchase of a vehicle was an extremely personal experience, often featuring face-to-face interaction between buyer and seller, with standard test-drives and tours. Salespeople would persuade individuals into buying the car they saw best-fit, and the process, from initial conversation to a final handshake, commonly took hours.

The industry was one of those that suffered the most from the pandemic because it was still in a recovery phase from the 2008 recession. The pandemic has disrupted supply chains, including international ones.​ ​The recent decline in sales hit the industry hard, as sales in the United States have not majorly increased in five years. Therefore, experts around the world claim many automotive factories will close. Mass layoffs will follow these closures, and the unemployment increase has the potential to affect the economy.

With a national pandemic still rampant, many have turned to purchase cars online to minimize interpersonal contact. The previously small market has rapidly expanded and developed. The online market has enabled individuals to condense the experience by allowing research, car history reports, and applying for financing to be done online. Individuals can make appointments to test-drive vehicles online and even get an appraisal with the click of a button. Buying a car online has never been easier! Some even prefer the simple, transactional experience, to dealing with salespeople and the commonly elongated conversation.

There are considerations to make when buying a car online. Interested individuals should be certain to request car records and history reports and only purchase from reputable sites. It is also important to stay safe by searching for a company’s sanitation policy.

Timing is a big thing to consider when purchasing a car. Interestingly, now may be a perfect time! Are you fearful of transmission rates on public transportation? We hear you! Additionally, cars are generally priced at the lower-end now due to a slow in profit for the industry at-a-large, and interest rates are historically low. With so many online options available for the car-buying process, don’t let the pandemic stop you from making your next great buy.

Overall, the pandemic’s effects on the auto industry have not all been negative ones. The industry has adapted to provide more options for buying opportunities so that jeopardizing one’s health is not a factor. Who knows? Maybe your next great purchase will be executed from your laptop!