Cyberattack Shuts Down U.S. Auto Retailers for Days – CDK Global Incident Impacting Thousands

ATLANTA, GA – Auto retailers throughout the United States are facing significant disruptions after a cyberattack targeted CDK Global, a software provider crucial to the operations of thousands of dealerships. With CDK’s systems offline, dealers are unable to process transactions, access customer information, schedule appointments, or handle vehicle repairs. The outage, expected to last for several days, has left dealers scrambling to find alternative ways to conduct business.

The impact of the cyberattack extended beyond the U.S. border, affecting hundreds of dealerships in Canada as well. Dealers there resorted to traditional pen-and-paper methods to continue operations while waiting for CDK’s systems to be restored. The incident has created a backlog of transactions that will need to be digitized once the systems are back online, according to Tim Reuss, president of the Canadian Automobile Dealers Association.

The disruption caused by the cyberattack resulted in a decline in the stock prices of major publicly listed dealership groups, including AutoNation Inc., Lithia Motors Inc., Group 1 Automotive Inc., and Sonic Automotive Inc. The incident shed light on the vulnerability of auto retailers that rely on a handful of companies, like CDK, Reynolds & Reynolds Co., and Dealertrack, for dealership management systems.

While some dealers reported minimal impact from the outage, others, like the Open Road Auto Group in New York and New Jersey, were unable to deliver new vehicles due to the unavailability of essential CDK services. The outage not only affected core dealership management systems but also ancillary services, such as linking dealerships with state motor-vehicle departments for titling and registration.

As dealerships navigate the challenges posed by the cyberattack, uncertainty looms over when CDK’s systems will be operational again. The National Automobile Dealers Association is actively engaged in seeking information from CDK to understand the extent of the cyber incident and its implications for the industry. The cyberattack on CDK Global serves as a stark reminder of the cybersecurity threats facing businesses in an increasingly digital world.

Despite the disruptions caused by the cyberattack, dealers like Sam Pack’s Five Star Chevrolet in Texas are finding ways to adapt and continue serving customers. While the outage has forced them to resort to manual processes for some tasks, they remain committed to conducting business as usual. Dealers and industry stakeholders are eagerly awaiting updates from CDK on the restoration of their systems and the resolution of the cyber incident that has disrupted operations across the automotive retail sector.