Part 2: While Consumers Are Still Shopping for Cars, The Covid-19 Economy is Extending The Purchase Timeframe


Detroit, MI - Detroit Trading Automotive Research & Insights

Jack Lintol

President & COO at Detroit Trading

Detroit Trading accesses millions of data points hourly that reflect the current status of consumer vehicle interest and purchase. In relation to the current Covid-19 pandemic and its effect on the economy, we’ve matched reported cases with a few key metrics on a state-by-state and county-by-county basis for the month of March. The four metrics we will highlight are: 1. Consumer Lead Activity, 2. National Dealer Lead Purchase Activity, 3. National Close Rates and 4. Close Rates in Lower-Case Areas.

1. Consumer Lead Activity: Shows Only Minor Change In Behavior

We compared the change in consumer online shopping activity nationwide from February to March, and compared it to the cases of Covid, on a state-by-state and county by county level.

No alt text provided for this image

What this means to us: Consumers are shopping online during the Covid-19 pandemic, with slightly lower activity in the areas with higher reported cases of Covid-19.

2. Dealer Lead Purchase Activity: Number of Dealers Purchasing Leads Has Remained Constant

When compared to active cases of Covid-19, we compare data nationwide where dealer’s are actively purchasing leads.

No alt text provided for this image

What this means to us: Covid-19 Cases and Dealer Lead Purchase Activity don’t show a strong correlation; dealers are still purchasing leads.

3. National Close Rates: Consumer Purchase Is Affected

Comparing Covid-19 case data compared to the change in close rates for the month of March compared to February. 

No alt text provided for this image

What this means to us: There is a direct correlation geographically to those states and counties with a higher number of cases and close rate. Simply put, the consumer buying process is delayed by Covid-19.

4. Close Rate Index: Lower Vs. Higher Affected Areas

We split up those counties with less than 100 cases per million and compared to the rest of the data.

No alt text provided for this image

What this means to us: There is a marked difference in close rates in those counties less affected by Covid-19.

Conclusion: Consumers are still shopping, however the timeline-to-purchase has been extended. 

With increasing state-wide, and state mandated, stay-at-home orders, we’re seeing nominal changes in consumer shopping and dealer marketing activity. However, we are seeing higher decreases in close rates in areas with higher cases of Covid-19. We are seeing some less affected areas where consumer close rates are not going down as much. 

This data is pulled from our ClearPath™ Enterprise Platform. This technology utilizes over a decade of automotive consumer data to model lead behavior & performance across every zip code in the United States. Consumer activity, dealer lead purchase activity, and consumer close rates are measured hourly and results are fed into the real-time decision making capabilities of the ClearPath™ Enterprise Platform.

About the Author - Jack Lintol is the President of Detroit Trading, a Detroit-based firm that is amongst the world’s foremost data and technology providers of “in-market” automotive shoppers and shopper intelligence. The firm provides data and leverages data science for original equipment manufacturers and dealers that is responsible for more than 30,000 and $1 billion in monthly car sales. Contact Jack at

Detroit Trading – 248.352.1313

Learn more about these tips and more directly from the source!

  • We've invested years of work into people, process and technology.

    Let us help you.

    Call: (248) 352-1313

Can't wait? Call (248) 965-4875 to learn more about our BDC Services.