Auto Trader says it has sent dealers a record number of new car leads since the reopening of showrooms on June 1.
From May 31 to June 17, the number of new car leads sent to retailers by the online marketplace was up 71%, marking the strongest period for leads since Auto Trader’s new car stock platform launched in early 2019.
Compared to March 17, the week before the government announced Coronavirus lockdown measures, new car leads have increased 97%.
Ian Plummer, Auto Trader’s commercial director, said: “Since launching the new car proposition we’ve seen it go from strength to strength, and we’re proud to feature over 50,000 new cars and vans on the platform - representing a third of new car retailers in the UK, including nine out of 10 of the largest dealer groups.
“The huge increase in leads we’ve recorded for both new and used cars highlights just how dramatically the retail landscape has changed. Pre-Covid-19, customers could turn up at a dealership without leaving a digital footprint or a lead, but that’s now very unlikely, with the vast majority of people first researching and making an enquiry online. It means that for today’s car buyers, if it’s not on your digital forecourt, then it’s not for sale.”
Auto Trader says consumer demand remained relatively stable throughout the lockdown period, following the initial slump, but as soon as showrooms were able to reopen there has been a huge spike in traffic - with an average of 2.1 million visits to its website every day.
During the week ending 14 June, the number of used car advert views increased 24% year-on-year, while used car leads sent to retailers increased 95%.