Google Trends data show that, since the PM’s launch of the COVID-19 recovery strategy (11 May), there has been a significant boom in demand across the automotive industry – so much so that the demand is now parallel with the numbers pre-lockdown, in many cases.
With UK car showrooms reopening and taking the first steps out of lockdown, leading predictions are that dealerships will be busy over the coming weeks. However, many of these predictions are based purely on speculations.
The Road to Recovery Dashboard is a tool built by LeaseFetcher, a car leasing comparison site based in Scotland. “The dashboard aims to observe long term and immediate changes in demand and will help inform predictions about the future for the industry” says Will Craig, Founder of LeaseFetcher.
Pulling its raw data from Google Trends on a weekly basis, the tool provides an invaluable insight into consumer sentiment and behaviour.
In March, demand across the automotive industry nosedives. Now, following the announcement on the 11th of May, introducing step one of the recovery strategy, demand is once again on the rise.
Perhaps in preparation for domestic summer holidays, demand for used cars has almost recovered from its 53% drop in March and has surpassed the demand in 2019 as well as the three-year average.
Interest in car dealerships has spiked over the last week as nearly 3 months of lockdown has led to significant pent up demand. Search volume for ‘’car dealers near me” has shown a moderate increase (12%) compared to this week last year and there is an even greater cause for optimism when we look at the increase in searches for “new cars for sale”, which have increased by 228%.
While search volume for ‘electric car’ hasn’t yet returned to its pre-COVID levels, there’s every indication that it will do soon. Specifically, the Tesla Model S and Model X have seen strong recoveries, matching and even exceeding interest this time last year. Audi e-Tron is up by 93% on last week (commencing 18th May), double the figures for the same week last year.
“Data shows that demand has been on the rise since early May. With restrictions still in place across the UK and with recommendations to stay at home in parts of the country, only time will tell what long term effects the automotive industry might see following COVID-19” says Will Craig, Founder of LeaseFetcher.
The Road to Recovery Dashboard will continue to be updated on a weekly basis to track the progress of the industry-wide recovery from COVID-19.