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Tariff Threat Dampens Dealers’ Optimism


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Article Highlights

  1. Sentiment is weaker for franchised dealers, down to 50 — the lowest level Cox has reported since the survey's launch — from 55 in the first quarter of 2018.
  2. For franchised and independent dealers combined, sentiment is 48, down from 49 a year earlier.
  3. More than half of franchised dealers are concerned that tariffs will drive up vehicle prices at their stores, according to the index, with 64 percent wary of higher prices on all new vehicles and 63 percent worried about higher import-vehicle prices.

Automotive News, March 11, 2019 — With a timer ticking on President Donald Trump’s tariff decision, franchised dealers are bracing for a negative impact to their business, according to the latest Cox Automotive Dealer Sentiment Index survey.

The survey gauges dealers’ perceptions of the last 90 days and expectations for the next three months. It identifies key factors affecting retailers’ optimism or pessimism. Cox Automotive began reporting survey results in the third quarter of 2017.

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