Things are getting better.
Less than three months after dealership parts and service business began to crash amid the coronavirus crisis, signs are emerging that the worst may be over.
Figures from 10 brands tracked by Urban Science in Detroit show a sharp falloff in U.S. repair orders beginning in March through the week of April 5, when business plunged 56 percent from year-earlier levels.
But in the four weeks through May 20, the average decline was 35 percent. And in the most recent week of the four, the drop was 27 percent.
But as Urban Science's Aftersales Solutions leader Piermichele Robazza notes, there are big differences among states.
Economic activity, including the number of miles logged in passenger cars, has varied depending on the COVID-19 caseload and the severity of governors' stay-at-home orders. In three states — Massachusetts, New Jersey and Michigan — the four-week average drop-off in repair orders through May 20 was more than 50 percent. At the other extreme, Alaska, Oklahoma and Texas all saw declines of less than 20 percent.
The 10 auto brands that report their repair order figures to Urban Science account for about 27 percent of U.S. new-vehicle sales.