COVID-19 has undoubtedly been the most disruptive event the market has faced in living memory. Despite working in the automotive industry for over 36 years, I have never known a time when everything was shut down. It’s an odd feeling but the saving grace is that we’re all in this together, virtually all industries are on hold and so comparatively no one is losing pace. We don’t know how long it will be before the automotive industry can pick up where we left off, and it is certainly more difficult to start things up again than it is to temporarily shut them down, but when the time is right we will be on hand to help our customers manage the process.

In this quieter period, we are encouraging our partners in the automotive space to think about which parts of their businesses could be refreshed and how they can remain agile when the European market kicks back into gear.

But how exactly do businesses equip themselves to be more competitive than they were before the outbreak of the global pandemic?

At JATO, we are lucky to be able to sift through the noise in the market and deliver facts through our extensive data and insight processes. Our customers don’t need to react to hearsay, our insights present real time evidence from which important and dynamic business decisions can be made. For example, we are currently working with our partners to assess how the used car market will be impacted by COVID-19 and what actions should be taken on inventory in this space.

In the current environment, one of the things we are starting to leverage is our global footprint.  Being able to trace the impact of COVID-19 from China, all the way to Europe and the US, is what truly sets us apart. As China returns to business as usual, we are able to inform our customers how the Chinese automotive landscape has responded to the pandemic, what challenges Chinese OEMs are facing, and what business life has to offer as lockdown restrictions are lifted.

COVID-19 has undoubtedly started a ripple effect across the globe, and from this we are able to help our clients understand how their markets are likely to fair on the path to recovery. For instance, in certain markets, such as Mexico, incentive and pricing research has increased as they are making informed decisions to remain competitive in the new environment and respond to the market online.

At the moment, we are actively engaging with our clients about how we jump back into business life together, but this doesn’t just require the use of industry data – we also have to be asking the right questions at the right time. And we are starting to consider areas that may have previously been overlooked. What new safety features will people look for when getting into a ride share? Are there any technologies that can improve air quality and hygiene in new vehicles? COVID-19 is presenting a lot of unknowns currently; we’ve continued working with our customers to establish the most important concerns for their businesses and how to be remain competitive in the new playing field.

We cannot say for sure how or when we will emerge from this pandemic, but we are doing our best to work within the automotive eco-system on the business plans necessary for navigating this new normal and moving forward positively