Cyberattacks put a dent in U.S. auto sales in late June, temporarily forcing a halt to normal operations for a major U.S. auto dealership service provider and thousands of dealerships — although, service was starting to recover before the end of June.

Many sales lost in June may also be made up later, analysts said.

According to a joint forecast from J.D. Power and GlobalData, total U.S. new-vehicle sales for June should be around 1.3 million. Depending in part on the impact of the cyberattacks, sales nationwide would be down for the month of June 2024 vs. June 2023, in a range from 2.6% to 7.2%, the forecast said.

In turn, the estimated June numbers also imply that U.S. auto sales for the first half of 2024 would be right around 7.8 million. That would be a narrow increase, in a range from 0.4% to 1.2%, vs. the first half of 2023, according to the forecast.

Longer-term factors, especially high interest rates and a lack of affordability, are more responsible for the thin increase than the temporary divot in sales in June.

The provider that experienced the cyberattacks is CDK Global, Hoffman Estates, Ill. The company initially reported a “cyber incident” on June 19.

CDK Global is a major supplier of computer-driven Dealer Management Systems, and its software is critical to running the auto dealerships that use it, for functions that may include sales, service, inventory, customer relationship management, and accounting.

On its web site, CDK Global says it serves 15,000-plus auto retail locations in North America. Trade paper Automotive News reports there were 18,133 U.S. dealerships as of Jan. 1, 2024.

In turn, some auto dealerships reported they weren’t completely shut down, despite services being interrupted at CDK Global.

On June 28, CDK Global said it was taking a “phased approach to the restoration process,” having brought some auto dealer groups back online.

Note: Contributor Jim Henry, a freelancer, also writes for Automotive News.

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