To no one's surprise, COVID-19 restrictions on vehicle sales and the resulting economic toll drove dealer sentiment into abysmal territory during the second quarter, according to the latest Cox Automotive Dealer Sentiment Index survey.
But franchised dealers, known for their boundless optimism, are already anticipating a robust recovery during the next 90 days. That positive outlook was somewhat surprising, said Cox Automotive Chief Economist Jonathan Smoke.
The sunny forecast was likely fueled by improved vehicle sales in late April and early May — the survey was taken April 28 through May 10. But dealers may be misguided if they anticipate steady improvement, Smoke told Automotive News. Numerous challenges lie ahead, he said, and Cox researchers were already seeing signs of that in the economic data they track.