Carsales stands down 250 amid pandemic

Carsales.com has stood down about 250 employees in customer-facing roles as business suffers because of the COVID-19 pandemic but there are some signs things are rebounding.

The company has also waived all fixed and variable advertising charges for the month of April and given a 50 per cent discount in May to support its trade customers, as well as deferring payment of advertising invoices by 30 days.

“This support package will contribute significantly to reducing dealers’ short term operating costs and demonstrates carsales’ strong commitment to supporting the Australian industry it serves through these difficult times,” the company said.

To cut costs, the company has also reduced its outdoor brand marketing and its board and management have taken a 20 per cent pay cut through to June 30.

“Carsales has a strong balance sheet and prudent gearing levels which position the business well in the current operating environment,” it said.

Business had been growing until March 10, compared with a year ago, but between March 10 and April 21 they were down about 25 per cent, “with an improved trajectory since the Easter weekend”.

“Traffic on carsales.com.au has remained resilient over this past month, which is a reflection of the underlying demand that exists for buying, selling and researching cars, even in this challenging environment.”

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