Weekly Update  – Including data up to September 11, 2020
  • The 7-day shopper demand rose by 9% to 13% across vehicle categories.
  • The 30-day shopper demand fell by 3% for Cars and by 1% overall. 

For a selection of brands, the state maps below show:

  • 7-day Shopper Counts compared to the 7 days ending 4 weeks ago;
  • 7-day Shopper Shares of demand compared to the 7 days ending 4 weeks ago;
  • 30-day Shopper Shares of demand compared to the equivalent 30 days of the prior year. 
The charts show the geographic breakdown of figures from the following summary:

Dear *|FNAME|*,

This series of weekly bulletins seeks to provide a high-level view of how new vehicle demand has been tracking during the COVID-19 pandemic. As each state continues to navigate policy on how to best deal with the competing forces of the virus and economic and social impacts, we will continue to report on shopper demand, monitoring as it evolves and responds to this ever changing environment.

Using national, state and DMA data, we present some demand highlights of how vehicle categories and brands have performed during this period, generally tracking data on moving averages, and in comparison to the equivalent period of the prior year and prior month. We also will choose an individual brand to focus on each week

Shopper Demand levels and comparisons to the Prior Year
Figure 1 (a) tracks the industry national trend in Shopper Demand (using an indexed 7 day moving average metric) and plots this Shopper Demand for 2020 and 2019. Demand over the last week has turned around somewhat, having been significantly down from 2019 throughout the summer. Q3 almost certainly will close well down on the prior year, but the rise in demand over the last week is encouraging.

Figure 1 (a) – National Daily Shopper Index 2

The 30-day moving average picture below, which adds in indexed Shopper Demand for 2018, continues to show the significant disparity between 2020 demand and that of the prior two years. The recent 7 days of rising demand has only flattened the 30-day falling demand to some extent. 

Figure 1 (b) – National Daily Shopper Index 2
 Figure 1 (c) – Total Monthly Indexed National Shopper Demand 4

4The monthly shoppers index uses average daily shoppers, with the first day of 2019 considered as the index base and given a value of 100. The current month and its 2019 equivalent reports ‘month-to-date’ figures. Other months report full month data.

Category Volatility and Shopper Share
The figure below shows the indexed shopper demand by vehicle category on a 7-day moving average basis. Pickups continue to lead the pack in terms of 18 month growth, followed closely by Crossovers and SUVs. Cars and Vans have generally been on a downward track over the 18 months.

 Figure 2 (a) – Indexed National Shopper Demand by Vehicle Category 2

2The Shopper Index 7 day Moving Average  is the normalized shopper count over the last 7 days. The first day of 2019 (Jan 1st, 2019) is considered as the index base and is given a value of 100. All other days are shown relative to that day.

In terms of shopper share, the long-term chart below shows that SUV’s continue to dominate the market, but Pickups and Crossovers both continue to increase their share. Looking at the current declines in SUV and Cars, one can pick out the possible trend of a more equal split of the market between Cars, SUVs and Pickups, with all three being chased by Crossovers. This coming together of the demand for categories is sometimes accompanied by a blending of vehicle types,where the distinction between Sport Utility, Compact Utility and Crossover is becoming ever harder to discern. 

 Figure 2 (b) – Vehicle Category Shopper Share Trends3

3The Shopper Share is calculated based on average daily shoppers.

Shopper Conversion
It appears that conversion of shopper demand shifted slightly during the pandemic. The Autometrics Report for Q2 looked at conversion patterns and concluded that there had been a slight fall in the overall sales-to-demand conversion ratio in Q2, from 24% to 21%.

Market Highlights


The next series of charts show state level and DMA level breakdowns of market demand. These charts compare (i) the 7-day shopper demand to the 7-day period 4 weeks prior and (ii) the 30-day shopper demand of 2020 with the equivalent 30-day period in the prior year. The figures and charts are intended to help show how different reopening policies across different states may influence new vehicle demand.

The chart below shows how the large decline in 30-day Shopper Demand from 2019 is spread right across the country. This has largely been the case throughout the summer months.

Figure 3 (a) – Growth/Decline in Shopper Demand by State

With some recent strengthening of demand, the 7-day comparison to demand data from 4 weeks ago, below, shows a more variable pattern.

Figure 3 (b) – Growth/Decline in Shopper Demand by State

Looking at the relative shares of each state, in comparison to prior year and the prior month, we can attempt to pick out which states are faring relatively better than others over the 12 month period and over a one month period. 

Figure 3 (c)– Growth/Decline in Shopper Share by State
Figure 3 (d)– Growth/Decline in Shopper Share by State

Looking at demand by DMA, some of the top 20 DMAs are now showing a strengthening of demand over the last 4 weeks. 

Figure 4 (a) – Growth/Decline in Shopper Demand in Selected Markets
Figure 4 (b) – Growth/Decline in Shopper Demand in Selected Markets

Category Highlights


The differences in shopper demand across vehicle categories compared to the prior year can again be seen in the following series of charts by vehicle category using 7-day averages. Pickups is the only category not tracking below its 2019 levels. Cars are faring the worst over the 12 month period.

Figure 5 (a) – National Daily Shopper Index for SUVs
Figure 5 (b) – National Daily Shopper Index for Cars
Figure 5 (c) – National Daily Shopper Index for Pickups 
Figure 5 (d) – National Daily Shopper Index for Crossovers

State maps of the 30-day Shopper Demand by vehicle category are shown below. Essentially, only Pickups are showing any growth in any state over 12 months

Figure 6 (a)  – Growth/Decline in Shopper Demand by State and Vehicle Category – SUVs
Figure 6 (b)  – Growth/Decline in Shopper Demand by State and Vehicle Category – Cars
Figure 6 (c)  – Growth/Decline in Shopper Demand by State and Vehicle Category – Pickups
Figure 6 (d)  – Growth/Decline in Shopper Demand by State and Vehicle Category – Crossovers

Brand Highlights


The charts below show the growth/decline for a selection of major brands across the nation by state. The figures compare (i) shopper demand for the last 30 days with the shopper demand of the equivalent period in the prior year, and (ii) shopper demand for the last 7 days with the 7-day period ending 4 weeks ago.

Figure 7 (a) – Growth/Decline for Honda
Figure 7 (b) – Growth/Decline for Mercedes Benz
Figure 7 (c) – Growth/Decline for Nissan
Figure 7 (d) – Growth/Decline for Volkswagen
Figure 7 (e) – Growth/Decline for Volvo