CARY, N.C. –
Foot traffic is up substantially at Ontario car dealerships.
That’s according to a study commissioned by TRADER Corp. and conducted by EQ Works that looked at dealership visits at 750 stores in the province during May and June.
Unique visitors to Ontario dealerships in June were up 56% month-over-month and total visits climbed 81%.
One-time visits climbed 46% from May and repeat visits were up 85%, the TRADER/EQ Works study found.
Visits for franchised dealerships in Ontario were up 154%, and independent dealerships had a 36% uptick in visits.
And the most popular day for dealership visits in Ontario? Monday, which had a 17% share of traffic in June, according to the study. The busiest time slot was 4-7 pm.
Moving online and sharing some of its own internal data, TRADER said that there were a record 22 million visits to its autoTRADER.ca marketplace in June, beating the prior record set a month before.
“Following a few challenging months surrounding the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are observing promising consumer behavior data,” TRADER chief marketing officer Ian MacDonald said in a news release.
“Recent record-setting traffic on autoTRADER.ca coupled with a significant increase in dealership footfall affirms the auto industry’s current movement towards recovery.”
It will be interesting to see where conditions for dealers — in Ontario and throughout Canada — go from here.
In its weekly COVID-19 Market Update from Tuesday, Canadian Black Book discussed some overall auto retail trends in Canada.
In the summary of that report, CBB indicated that about 9% of annual new-car sales happen in July — during “more conventional times,” of course.
“Sales results from the months of May and June of 2020 were generally agreed by most in the industry to have been propped up by a considerable amount of pent-up demand from earlier, stagnant sales months, for new- and used-vehicle sales,” Canadian Black Book said in the report.
“As we get further away from those months, Canadian Black Book expects to see more clearly what the natural levels of demand through this COVID-19 recession will be.”
The decline in sales moderated substantially over spring months, slowing from a 75% decline in April to a 16.2% drop in June, CBB said. Its analysts anticipate “less pent-up demand in July and August, which will provide some clarity as to what the sales pace will be for the remainder of 2020.”
Year-to-date sales are off 34% year-over-year, and CBB expects there will be a 25% drop in new-car retail sales for full-year 2020.