March 3: An employee at Toyota of Kirkland in Washington state tests positive for COVID-19, the first known case at a U.S. dealership. The store later temporarily closes for cleaning.
March 16: State and local governments begin to issue stay-at-home orders or mandates to limit nonessential business, including in California and New York. Manheim and ADESA say they'll switch to all-digital auctions as of March 18.
March 17: CarMax closes 5 stores in California. The National Automobile Dealers Association and the Alliance for Automotive Innovation ask President Donald Trump to issue guidance that dealerships be considered essential businesses.
March 20: ADESA halts all auctions for at least 2 weeks.
March 23: The drop in dealership business grows as March forecasts look grim. CDK Global CEO Brian Krzanich reduces his pay to $1 as CDK cuts fees.
March 24: The California New Car Dealers Association recommends dealerships close showrooms to comply with a statewide stay-at-home order. More vendors reduce fees for dealerships.
March 25: Group 1 Automotive says it will furlough 3,000 employees and make other cost cuts. Asbury Automotive Group terminates its $1 billion acquisition of Park Place Dealerships.
March 27: Trump signs a $2 trillion stimulus package into law, including loans to small businesses such as dealerships.
March 29: Robert Garff, chairman of Ken Garff Automotive, dies of complications from COVID-19.
March 30: Dealerships increasingly shift toward digital sales. Penske Automotive Group says it has furloughed employees and made other cost-cutting moves.
April 3: AutoNation Inc. says it has furloughed 7,000 employees and made other cost-cutting moves. Asbury furloughs 2,300 employees and cuts executive pay.
April 8: CarMax says it will furlough 15,500 employees and make other cost cuts.
April 13: Lithia Motors announces job cuts for 5,100.
April 15: U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly, a car dealer in Butler, Pa., is recovering from COVID-19.
April 16: Vendor CarGurus plans to lay off 13% of its global work force.
April 17: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency classifies auto sales as an essential service.
April 24: AutoNation and Penske confirm they have returned federal Paycheck Protection Program loans.
April 29: Sonic Automotive Inc. discloses it reduced its head count by a third through furloughs and terminations.
May 4: Dealerships adopt new safety protocols as some locales prepare for economies to reopen.
May 7: Cox Automotive says it will furlough more than 12,500 employees, most at its Manheim unit.
May 8: Los Angeles County allows dealership showrooms to reopen with specific health and safety protocols.
May 13: Penske says it is suspending its stock dividend, a move anticipated to save about $34 million cash in the 2nd quarter.