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Coronavirus drives auto sales online


COVID-19 Impact & Recovery: Investment Banking


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Coronavirus drives auto sales online

The closure of car dealerships due to the coronavirus pandemic forced automakers to become more creative in how they sell their wares, and there are indications that this trend could endure beyond the disease.

Tesla has sold cars directly to consumers via its website for several years, and many of its rivals have accelerated similar efforts in recent months. Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler are bound by U.S. franchise laws to sell through dealers, but they have introduced click-and-collect options, enhanced online showrooms and other measures to allow customers to complete more of the buying experience from behind their screens. In the U.K., Peugeot, Volvo Cars and others offer fully online sales with delivery of new, customized vehicles to customers' doorsteps.

Franchise laws will ensure that there will remain a need for dealerships, but all major carmakers are evolving their purchase options for the next generation of buyers. Alexei Andreev, managing director at venture capital firm Autotech Ventures, notes that younger customers are more likely to avoid visiting showrooms until they are ready for a final test drive.

If the June 9 IPO of used-vehicle online retailer Vroom is anything to go by, a growing online-element of car sales is expected to continue — the New-York-based company's stock has more than doubled since it debuted.

Consumer Edge is a weekly collection of critical developments across the automotive; retail; and food, beverage, and tobacco industries. Click here to subscribe.

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US automakers accelerate online selling options during COVID-19 pandemic

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The head of the Detroit automaker said the company is well-positioned after previous cost-cutting measures.

Securitization filing shows early Q2 surge in auto lender's production

The aggregate principal balance of loans originated by Ford's captive finance subsidiary soared by 83.3% on a year-over-year basis in April as the popularity of certain COVID-19 incentive programs more than offset pressure on new vehicle sales.


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The strong results of the 618 shopping festival indicate that online sales in the country are gradually recovering despite a sluggish overall retail environment.

Food, beverage and tobacco

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S&P 500 Consumer Staples and Discretionary indexes

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