Stars Aligning for a Big May and Memorial Day Sales Event in Auto

The stars are aligning for potential record-level vehicle sales in May and the highest demand ever for Memorial Sales Events. See our one-sheeter below for why.

P.S. Momentum could continue all summer. July history outsells May and August outsells July for new and used vehicles.

We are helping our partners to keep up with the speed of consumer demand in dealer inventory during sales events like Memorial Day. Contact us to learn more.


Michael Heidner
VP of Strategy and Business Development

Ashley Lepczyk, Chief Operating Officer, Foundation Direct

Ashley Lepczyk
Chief Operating Officer

Marketing at the Speed of Consumer Demand and Dealer Inventory

Heading into a slew of sales events in the coming months, the trends are pointing toward a continued strong rebound for automotive sales in 2021 — April 2021 is forecasted to be a record-breaking month¹. Vehicle sales will only continue to rebound as we head towards Spring sales and Memorial Day — which is one of the top sales events of the year — right into Summer sales events, driving demand from the 4th-of-July through Labor Day. Consumer demand will continue to rise despite inventory constraints. Industry experts are increasingly bullish for 2021 sales as forecasts that we collected in the beginning of the year have already been adjusted for 2021.

The fact: Buyers are going to find a way to purchase a vehicle in the coming months regardless of inventory, price or vehicle color even if it is less desirable.

(like a Starbright Yellow KIA Seltos 😆) Is your dealership going to be there to capture demand?


Three reasons why quickly adapting to consumer demand and marketing your available inventory in the coming months is crucial:

  1. Demand is high and forecasts for 2021 vehicle sales  are trending even more favorably than just 3 months ago:
    • NEW VEHICLE SALES FORECASTS: Increased 0.7M units above the initial 15.5M forecast to 16.2M for 2021. Forecasts for 2022 have bumped up 0.2M units to 16.4M, surpassing pre-covid forecasts².
    • USED VEHICLE SALES FORECASTS: 2021 used sales forecasts were already above forecasts that came out pre-covid, displaying how hot the used car market has been. The industry has a chance for nearly 40M used vehicles sold in 2021 at the current pace².
  2. Inventory and transaction prices are heavily influencing in-market shopper behaviors: The semiconductor chip shortage drove New Vehicle days’ supply to 39 in the end of March 2021³ — the lowest since cash-for-clunkers back in 2008. Meanwhile, Used Vehicles are seeing record demand and transaction prices⁴. Consumers want to buy vehicles and will adapt behaviors to find a way to purchase one and we are seeing it in the data:
      • Searches for Dealers Near Me are back on the rise and hitting new record highs as people are open to searching multiple dealers to find a vehicle⁵. This points to an overall increase in lower-funnel intent in the marketplace.
      • Cross-shopping between New and Used Vehicles is growing as 59% of New Vehicle purchasers now consider Used or CPO vehicles, up from 48% pre-COVID⁶. These profit centers working together is key as people jump between the two segments.
      • People are paying record prices for new and used vehicles to get what they want as transaction prices are at record highs⁷. Buyers are even willing to purchase vehicles with a disregard of what color it is⁸.
  3. Upcoming sales events will fuel the fire even more
      • Regardless of inventory we don’t expect consumers demand to pull back as they are primed to seek deals out around sales events — 55% say it is the best time to buy⁹. We also don’t expect brand messaging around these sales events to hold back — they didn’t during Presidents’ Day. This will just produce more intent and again buyers will search far and wide to when needing to purchase a vehicle.

Here are three actions plus a bonus topic your dealership should keep top of mind to find success in the current market conditions.

  1. Update your Digital Ad Strategy & Message daily to meet consumer demand and reflect changing inventory
    • Dealers whose strategy moves at the speed of their inventory and vehicle offers will have a competitive edge in the market. Inventory and price are the top 2 influencers on which dealer people buy from¹⁰.  Inventory is churning at unseen rates, the time it takes to update marketing to reflect what is coming in and out of the dealership could lose potential sales. Foundation Direct has our dealers covered as we create ads with the latest inventory down to the trim and price down to the penny all in real-time.
  2. Prioritize your dollars on the highest-intent in-market demand by leveraging the best intent signals & audience data
    • Auto shoppers are entering and exiting the market everyday. Some make a decision in just weeks, while others research over months. Activating on the best, real-time audience data across devices is more important than ever. This is the reason why Foundation Direct’s strategy includes platforms like Google and Bing search to capture purchase intent as it happens — in your shoppers’ moments of highest intent; while YouTube and Facebook offer unmatched fresh in-market audience targeting that reaches 90% of auto shoppers¹¹.
  3. Shift dollars across Profit Center to support changing inventory levels
    • NADA released their 2020 Annual Report, including a breakout of dealership revenue by profit center¹². Dealer revenue breakout: 55% new vehicle, 33% used vehicle and 12% service. Looking across our dealership accounts here at Foundation Direct, our search marketing budgets nearly perfectly align at 54% new vehicle, 38% used vehicle and 8% service¹³.Foundation Direct customers only advertise on vehicles they have in stock (unless they tell us otherwise)


BONUS: You may be wondering if you should pause marketing. Here are our thoughts on why you shouldn’t.
Caveat: Foundation Direct does not take a margin on your media spend, but we want to make sure you don’t miss opportunities to connect with potential customers as demand continues to increase. 

    • Do I want to continue CAPTURING DEMAND to have conversations with potential buyers as demand continues to grow? (buyers are going to find a way to purchase a vehicle now from you or someone else). If so, review your media mix and continue with efficient strategies at the lowest part of the funnel with search and leaning into in-market audiences. Prioritize these opportunities over tactics that are CREATING DEMAND (TV ads, billboards, broad audience display targeting), which you can pull back on without sacrificing this-month’s sales.
    • Search costs are likely to drop as other dealers pull back spend — just as we saw during the first months of COVID in 2021. Dealers who kept their marketing on last year experienced lower CPCs and rebounded faster by continuing to engage with customers.
    • How can you leverage Fixed Ops to not only bring in revenue but as a lead for potential used vehicle acquisitions?

We at Foundation Direct strive to use data, technology and our expertise to deliver the best performance for our dealers. Not working with us, but interested in learning more? Reach out!



Michael Heidner
VP of Strategy and Business Development

Ashley Lepczyk, Chief Operating Officer, Foundation Direct

Ashley Lepczyk
Chief Operating Officer

Andrew Diffenderfer, Co-Founder of Foundation Direct

Andrew Diffenderfer

Ashlyn Stewart

Ashlyn Stewart
VP of Client Experience


1 J.D. Power and LMC Automotive – “April New-Vehicle Sales to Break Record Despite Low Inventory; Buyers Will Spend More on New Vehicles Than Any Other April

2 Average of forecasts from NADA, COX Automotive, IHS Market POLK, J.D. Power Sales Data Release, Ward’s Automotive Intelligence

3 Wards Intelligence – U.S. Light Vehicle Inventory, March 2021

4 – “Car shoppers should expect high prices and limited inventory this spring

5 Google Trends, 2021 – “Dealers near me” and “Dealerships near me” searches

6 Google Dealer Guidebook 2.5

7 J.D. Power and LMC Automotive – “J.D. Power and LMC Automotive U.S. Automotive Forecast for March 2021

8 – “Buyers Snapping Up New Cars, Even If They’re the Wrong Color

9 Mintel Report – “Car Purchasing Process – US – July 2019

10 Automotive News Power Training – “Google’s Dealer Guidebook 2.5 Prepares Dealers for the Future

11 comscore Media Metrix, 2021

12  NADA DATA 2020: Annual Report

13 Foundation Direct Internal Data, 2021


Connected TV feature image

Navigating the Connected TV Space for Marketing Your Dealership

With TV Upfronts approaching and TV viewership quickly evolving, we wanted to bring you our perspective on the streaming space.

COVERED WITH FOUNDATION DIRECT: Our partners that are running video ads on YouTube with Foundation Direct have their ads appear automatically on TV screens targeting in-market auto shoppers. You may see agencies offering a variety of CTV/OTT solutions — we at Foundation Direct continue to keep media direct, simple and impactful to make sure every media dollar a dealership spends goes further. Our goal is to have dealership messaging reaching consumers across all-devices and YouTube offers 90% reach of in-market auto shoppers and is by far the #1 in reach of ad-supported OTT platforms¹ ². On average across Foundation Direct accounts we see around 20% of ads on YouTube are served on CTVs as part of our strategy to reach in-market auto shoppers across all devices at the right moment.

Before we start, we wanted to provide quick video streaming definitions rundown. Click on the images to see the addition slides.

Video Streaming Definitions Page 2







Now that’s settled let’s get into the content.

How has advertising on the TV screen evolved?:

Cord-cutting continues at an accelerated pace as 5.1M Americans cut the TV cord in 2020 resulting in an estimated 107M Americans who no longer subscribe to cable or satellite TV³. Over half of adults 18-49 in the US no longer subscribe to cable and satellite TV according to a new study by Pew Research Center⁴. On the flip side people are flocking to streaming services with nearly 70M of households stream OTT content to their TV¹ — marketers are following audiences with CTV advertising in the US increasing 25% in 2020⁵.

Here are 3 facts dealers should understand when integrating CTV into their marketing strategy:

  • Online Video — such as OTT streaming on CTVs — is one of the top influencers to CREATE DEMAND by driving action with 8-in-10 auto shoppers⁶.

The Nielsen Total Audience Report: Working From Home Special Edition August, 2020

  • The “Big 5” streaming services — Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Video, Hulu, and Disney+ — collectively represent nearly 80% of all OTT streaming hours².
  • YouTube is #1 in ad-supported reach and watchtime — and one of the few OTTs to provide in-market auto shopper targeting along with scalable reach down to individual markets. YouTube reaches over 65% of CTV households compared to 11% for Crackle or PlutoTV⁷.

Here are questions dealers should be asking when exploring running ads on OTTs/CTVs:

STREAMING PLATFORMS: On which streaming OTT services will your dealership ad run on? YouTube, Hulu, PlutoTV, Crackle? How much is being spent on each? How does this mix with what you are currently buying across online video or traditional TV?

REACH AND FREQUENCY: How are you controlling for reach and frequency when buying across multiple OTTs?

AUDIENCE: Which audience am I targeting? Surrounding market? Demos such as Adults 25-54? In-market auto shoppers? Where is audience data sourced from?

COST: How much am I paying? CPM (cost-per-thousand Impressions)? How does this change based on targeting? Be wary of flat costs as rates should change based on location and audience targeting. Ask how much of your spend is going towards actual media that reaches consumers and if any fees are baked into the rates. At Foundation Direct 100% of a dealers advertising dollars go towards media and we can show you the cost efficiencies of TV vs. OTT advertising.

MEASUREMENT: How are you measuring impact of the ads? Impressions or reach and frequency? Reach penetration of the market? People don’t necessarily “click” an ad when watching OTT on CTVs, it may be best to think of it like a TV ad as it might be difficult to directly tie attribution from running ads on OTT.

Like the way we think about the automotive industry at Foundation Direct? Contact us to learn more.


Michael Heidner
VP of Strategy and Business Development

Ashley Lepczyk, Chief Operating Officer, Foundation Direct

Ashley Lepczyk
Chief Operating Officer

Peter Leto, Foundation Direct CEO

Peter Leto
Chief Executive Officer


1comScore: Special Feature: YouTube’s Evolution in the OTT Streaming Landscape

2The Nielsen Total Audience Report: Working From Home Special Edition August, 2020 “Cord Cutting Still Nearly Double For the Big Four U.S. Pay TV Providers Over 2018”

4Pew Research Center “Cable and satellite TV use has dropped dramatically in the U.S. since 2015”

5eMarketer “OTT/CTV Advertising Will Be the Breakout Star of 2021”

6Google Dealer Guidebook 2.5

7TiVo Video Trends Report Q4 2020


Should my dealership be on DuckDuckGo?

What the DuckDuckGo?

DuckDuckGo — a privacy focused search engine — has been receiving headlines recently for eclipsing 100M searches per day for the first time. Dealers might start wondering if they should be advertising on the growing search engine.

Let’s take a look at the data and potential of the emerging search engine.

Share of searches:

  • DuckDuckGo has 2.6% share of searches in the US. Compared to 88% for Google and 6.3% for Bing (source). This aligns to the incoming search traffic seen on automotive websites. While DuckDuckGo has recently passed 100M searches per day, Google alone sees a few billion searches per day and hundreds of millions of automotive searches per day.

Limitations for DuckDuckGo from a privacy approach:

  • Location – DuckDuckGo admits they might not have the best location data for mobile. This can be important with over half of automotive searches taking place on mobile including searches like ‘dealers near me’.
  • Search Audiences – Audience-based approaches such as smart bidding optimizations for max clicks/conversion are not possible since they do not factor in any information on the searcher.

Foundation Direct’s Take:

  • Our technology creates very relevant ads that is hyper-focused on lower-funnel keywords searched — campaigns strategies created by the Googlers who wrote the Dealer Guidebook now at Foundation Direct. Our best-in-class strategies align well with DuckDuckGo’s keyword focused approach, but DuckDuckGo is still relatively small — Bing and Yahoo have a larger search user base.
  • We suggest dealers to first review their current paid search strategy to make sure you are maximizing the demand they capture in their local market on Google and Bing. You can do this by looking at your impression share and monitoring performance for any diminishing returns.
  • For now we at Foundation Direct are taking a wait-and-see approach as we see most dealers still have opportunities to invest within their own current Google and Bing search ad accounts, but we will be monitoring DuckDuckGo’s growth.

Can you tell we are super passionate about search? Our expertise plus our tech makes our search strategy one of the best in the market and we have the proof to show it. Contact us to learn more.


Michael Heidner
VP of Strategy and Business Development

Ashley Lepczyk, Chief Operating Officer, Foundation Direct

Ashley Lepczyk
Chief Operating Officer

A Surge of Vehicle Launches Is Coming

A record 210 vehicle launches will occur in the next three model years, from 2022-2024.¹ This is a 78% increase vs. the previous three years (2019-2021).² COVID delayed several model year launches last year, inflating the estimated 2022 model year launches to a record 77 vehicles.¹



Three Reasons Car Dealers Should Keep a Pulse on Vehicle Launches:


  1. Increase in OEM Marketing
    Automotive brands increase spend as much as 10x — upwards of $100M — during the 3- to 6-month launch window for a model launch, such as for upcoming all-new entries (e.g., Jeep Wagoneer, Cadillac Lyriq) and next-gen redesigns (e.g., 2022 Honda Civic, 2022 BMW X1).
  2. Increase in Consumer Interest
    The increase in marketing spend drives awareness and consideration, which can cause as high as 2x increase in search interest as people look to explore and purchase the launching vehicle, like when the Ford Bronco Sport launched.³
  3. Competitive Cross-Shopping
    When a vehicle launches, competitor models can also see an increase as auto shoppers cross-shop vehicles, such as when competitor models rode the wave of the 2021 Nissan Rogue launch in Q4 2020.

The Four Stages of a Launch Dealers Can Activate On:



  • Reveal — When a new entry or redesigned vehicle is revealed, usually at a major event like an auto show, or most recently at virtual events like the Chevrolet Bolt EUV reveal with Disney.
    • Work with your website provider to create a model-specific page generating excitement for the launch, accepting reservations (if available) and communicating why shoppers should buy with YOU.
    • Send the page to your Foundation Direct rep so we can begin building a remarketing list off of people who visit it.
  • Pre-Launch — The period between the Reveal and when the vehicle actually is available for purchase. Pre-Launch generally has low marketing spend and is supported with media reviews and press announcements. Dealer websites featuring content about the new model may see an uptick in traffic as people seek pricing, availability, and options to reserve. 
  • Launch — The timeframe the vehicle is actually available to purchase on dealership lots and the OEM increases marketing spend to promote the new model for awareness and consideration. 
    • This is the time for dealers to CAPTURE DEMAND from the elevated search interest caused by the increase in OEM marketing spend. Add the launching model to your Paid Search campaign to drive shoppers to relevant VDPs — this is done automatically for you with Foundation Direct as soon as the model hits your inventory feed.
  • Sustain — 3-6 months post-launch when OEM launch spend decreases to normal levels.
    • This is the time for dealers to CREATE DEMAND on YouTube and Facebook — Foundation Direct has the levers in place to activate this quickly for you. More on sustainment below.

Examples of recently launched vehicle trends


Vehicle launches stir a lot of interest in the market and provide an opportunity for dealerships to activate as early as the vehicle Reveal to engage future auto purchasers and ride the launch wave to capture auto shoppers looking to purchase.

Like the way we think about the automotive industry at Foundation Direct? Contact us to learn more.


Michael Heidner
VP of Strategy and Business Development

Ashley Lepczyk, Chief Operating Officer, Foundation Direct

Ashley Lepczyk
Chief Operating Officer

Peter Leto, Foundation Direct CEO

Peter Leto
Chief Executive Officer

Sources: ‘Car Wars’ study says launches speeding up through 2024

2Bank of America Merrill Lynch “The US Automotive Product Pipeline Car Wars 2020-2023”

3Google Trends Data US, 2021 – Topics “Ford Bronco Sport”, “Jeep Renegade”, “Jeep Compass”, “Kia Seltos”, “Subaru Forester”

4Google Trends Data US, 2021 – Topics “Nissan Rogue”, “Toyota RAV4”, “Honda CR-V, “Ford Escape”, “Kia Sorento”


Automotive Dealership Store

Presidents’ Day, the Big Game, and Tax Season to Get 2021 Sales Rolling

Three February events will boost vehicle purchase intent from in-market auto shoppers:

1.) Automotive ads in the Big Game on Feb. 7

2.) The first sales event of 2021 with Presidents’ Day

3.) Tax season — particularly with the potential of another stimulus check. These events present dealers with a unique opportunity to engage shoppers and get momentum rolling in 2021.

What This Means for Car Dealers:

  • Opportunity to Capture Interest Demand with Search
    Automotive brands advertised during the Big Game typically benefit from significant spikes in elevated search interest in the weeks that follow  — with increases in search volume as high as an 80%.1 This gives dealers an opportunity to engage with potential shoppers for vehicles like the Toyota Highlander, which was featured last year.
  • Consumers Seeking Deals for Presidents’ Day
    Auto shoppers are primed to seek deals around sales events. Presidents’ Day is the first of the year and auto shoppers begin to seek sales two weeks prior to the holiday date,2 which is February 15th this year. Presidents’ Day and the Big Game haven’t been this close together — eight days apart — since 2016.

  • Tax Season Putting Money in Car Buyers’ Pockets
    Nearly 10% of Americans say they spend their tax refund on a major purchase, such as a car. Vehicle sales may increase as much as 30% from February through April during tax season.3

While February is one of the lowest sales months of the year, there are still hundreds of thousands of new vehicles being sold, as well as millions of used vehicles. Months like February are when dealers must get the most impact out of their advertising spend and make sure that spend drives sales. At Foundation Direct, we offer transparent and direct solutions to dealers on the largest platforms to reach automotive shoppers. We would love to tell you more, so reach out to us.


Michael Heidner
VP of Strategy and Business Development

Peter Leto, Foundation Direct CEO

Peter Leto
Chief Executive Officer

Andrew Diffenderfer, Co-Founder of Foundation Direct

Andrew Diffenderfer


1Google Trends Data US, 2021 – Topics “Toyota Highlander”, “Hyundai Sonata”, “KIA Seltos”, “Jeep Gladiator”, “Genesis GV80”

2Google Trends Data US, 2021 – “President Day Sales’’ search term for “Autos & Vehicles’ Category

3COX Automotive “Cox Automotive Commentary: First-Half 2020 U.S. Auto Sales”


Former Google Automotive Research Lead Joins Foundation Direct to Boost Consumer Data-Driven Decisions

Michael Heidner Joins Foundation Direct as VP of Strategy and Business Development

Foundation Direct, a new technology and consulting company offering automotive marketers an industry-leading option to “Go Direct” with their digital advertising, is pleased to announce Michael Heidner as their new VP of Strategy and Business Development. Mike joins Foundation Direct from Google, where he led Automotive Research and notably drove the analysis behind and creation of Google’s ‘5 Auto Shopping Micro-Moments’.

“Remaining ahead of industry trends by maintaining a deep understanding of auto shoppers’ changing behaviors — especially in light of the last year of change — is crucial to our success as a company, and our dealers’ success winning customers online. Mike brings extensive expertise and thought leadership on automotive trends and consumer behaviors,” says co-founder Andrew Diffenderfer. “He has analyzed the consumer journey data of hundreds of thousands of auto shoppers across hundreds of digital and traditional touchpoints. His understanding of today’s auto shopper and their use of digital to buy a vehicle is unmatched. We’re excited to leverage these insights and trends to continue innovating and driving results for dealerships.”

Foundation Direct’s CEO, Peter Leto also noted, “Mike has a unique ability to find salient insights amongst vast amounts of data. He has a proven record of both researching consumer behaviors and using them to drive strategic business decisions. While you might not recognize his name, you’ve seen his work — represented on Keynote Stages across events like Digital Dealer, NADA, J.D. Power Auto Revolution, and more. We are excited to add him to our team as we continue to evolve our technology and the media strategies we use to connect dealers to buyers.”

Mike helped lead Google’s annual Path To Purchase Research Study beginning in 2013, where he analyzed hundreds of thousands of auto purchaser survey responses, clickstream behaviors, and qualitative interviews through the years. He notably drove the analysis behind and creation of Google’s ‘5 Auto Shopping Micro-Moments’. Before Google, he helped launch and produce content for FOX Sports’ regional websites and worked with the television sales teams on activation.

“Insights and trends are my passion, and I’ve been lucky to witness and report on the changes of automotive shopper behaviors over the past several years — from the growth of mobile usage on dealer lots, to how people discover vehicles with search, to understanding video’s role in the research process. I am excited to join Foundation Direct on their journey to disrupt the market by offering best-in-class solutions aligned to dealer and vehicle purchaser expectations,” says Michael Heidner, the new VP of Strategy for Foundation Direct.

Mike holds a Bachelors in Economics and a Master of Science – Business Analytics from the University of Michigan. Mike also empowers those starting their careers in data analysis and visualization, where he taught as a professor at Wayne State University in the subject of Data Science and Leadership, to graduate students across the country.

Mike was born and raised in Metro Detroit where he continues to reside. He has deep blue-collar ties to the automotive industry with his mom having worked the assembly line at the Ford Mustang plant and at the railroad where his father helped ship vehicles across North America. When not digging into data or analyzing consumer shopping behavior, Mike enjoys traveling with his wife Cassandra.

About Foundation Direct

Foundation Direct was created to give OEMs, regional associations, automotive groups, and dealerships the ability to take their ad dollars directly to Google, YouTube, Facebook, and Microsoft, enabling them to spend less on margin, invest more in media, and drive better business results.

Visit for more information.

Original post:

Forecasts Point to a Bright 2021 As Automotive Sales Rebound

Various analysts across the auto industry, including IHS Markit, Wards Auto, Cox Automotive, J.D. Power, and NADA, have released their new and used vehicle sales forecasts for 2021. We’ve collected the forecasts to paint a picture of what lies ahead for automotive sales in the new year.


Here is a breakdown of trends to watch in the new and used market.


Three Reasons Car Dealers Can Be Optimistic for New Sales Recovery in 2021:

  1. Better Than Expected Rebound – At the beginning of 2020, NADA forecasted 16.8M new vehicle sales,1 but once COVID hit, they reevaluated their forecast in April to 13.5M.2 2020 ended with 14.6M new vehicle sales,3 showing that the 2nd half exceeded expectations.
  2. Recovery Continues – With vaccines and stimulus checks rolling out to the country, NADA expects retail and fleet sales to continue to recover, forecasting around 15.5M new sales in 2020 and over 16M for 2022.4
  3. Low Rates to Stay – The Federal Reserve has said they have no plans to raise interest this year, which will keep rates low into 2022.5

While new vehicle sales recovery looks promising, inventory remains dynamic and uncertain. Dealers need to monitor inventory and align advertising to focus on vehicles currently in stock. Foundation Direct’s solution is designed to save dealers time and money to generate ads based on dealer inventory in real time, never wasting money on out-of-stock vehicles. 

Automotive brands pulled back marketing spend -22% YoY in 20206 while sales declined -14.5%.1 Starting in the new year, dealers should audit budgets across all profit centers and make sure they have scaled back up to meet the return in demand.


Three Reasons Car Dealers Could See an Increase in Used Sales in 2021: 

  1. Vehicle Affordability
    Increasing average transaction prices for new vehicles are pushing buyers to look at used —  in December 2020, new vehicle transaction prices hit a record high.7 This is causing new car shoppers to consider used or CPO vehicles more than they have in the past — 59% of new car purchasers considered used or CPO vehicles, up from 48% pre-COVID.8
  2. Available Inventory
    The emerging semiconductor shortage will further constrain new vehicle production. When new inventory was constrained last year, we saw used vehicle sales outpace new sales, and this has continued as we enter 2021.9
  3. Pent-Up Demand
    Used vehicle sales may increase as much as 30% from Feb.-April during tax season.10 Buyers who planned to use their tax refund to buy a vehicle in 2020 may have been delayed due to COVID. We may see that pent-up demand carry over to this tax season.

Is your dealership’s advertising spend appropriately supporting all profit centers? Foundation Direct clients’ average Paid Search budgets are distributed 54% for new, 38% for used, and 8% for service,11 which aligns to share of sales revenue by dealers reported by NADA at 53% new, 35% used, 12% service.12 At Foundation Direct, we give dealers full transparency, control, and flexibility to adjust their media budgets at any time while also generating custom ads for every vehicle a dealer has in stock. Contact us for more information.


Michael Heidner
VP of Strategy and Business Development

Ashley Lepczyk, Chief Operating Officer, Foundation Direct

Ashley Lepczyk
Chief Operating Officer

Peter Leto, Foundation Direct CEO

Peter Leto
Chief Executive Officer

Sources: “U.S. new-vehicle sales to fall to 16.8M in 2020, NADA says” “NADA slashes forecast for 2020 auto sales”

3Autonews.con “Q4 sales fall 2.4%; 2020 finishes down 14%” “NADA Issues Analysis of 2020 Auto Sales, 2021 Sales Forecast” “Fed sees interest rates staying near zero through 2022” “Ad spend retraction due to COVID-19 worse than expected: WARC”

7J.D. Power “Auto Sales Start Strong in 2021: January Retail Vehicle Sales Volumes, Transaction Prices Rise as Discounts Stay Low”

8Google Dealer Guidebook 2.5

9TrueCar’s ALG Forecasts January 2021

10COX Automotive “Cox Automotive Commentary: First-Half 2020 U.S. Auto Sales”

11Foundation Direct Internal Data, 2021. Average account budgets across New, Used and Fixed Ops profit centers