The automotive industry has been thrust into a technological setback as car dealerships across the United States resort to traditional pen and paper methods for sales transactions following a series of cyberattacks that crippled a key software provider.

Cyberattacks on Software Provider

On June 24, 2024, CDK Global, a prominent provider of software solutions to dealerships, fell victim to a sophisticated cyberattack. The attack compromised the company's systems, disrupting critical dealership operations such as inventory management, financing, and customer relationship management (CRM).

Impact on Dealerships

The cyberattacks had a debilitating effect on car dealerships that rely heavily on CDK's software for their daily operations. Many dealerships were forced to shut down their online sales portals and customer service lines, effectively halting new vehicle sales and repairs.

Manual Processes and Inefficiencies

In the wake of the cyberattacks, dealerships were compelled to revert to manual processes, including pen and paper documentation for sales and service orders. This laborious transition created significant inefficiencies and delays in processing transactions. Customers faced extended wait times and inconvenience due to the reliance on manual paperwork.

Delays in Vehicle Deliveries

The disruption in dealership operations also caused delays in the delivery of new vehicles. Dealerships were unable to finalize agreements with customers electronically, leading to a backlog in vehicle assignments. Customers were left frustrated and uncertain about the timelines for receiving their new cars.

Financial Losses

The cyberattacks and subsequent disruption in dealership operations resulted in substantial financial losses for dealerships. Lost sales, delayed deliveries, and increased operational costs placed a significant strain on business performance.

Response from CDK Global

CDK Global has expressed its deep regret for the disruption caused by the cyberattacks and is actively working to restore its systems. The company has deployed additional security measures and is partnering with law enforcement to investigate the attacks.

Industry-Wide Impact

The cyberattacks on CDK Global have sounded alarm bells throughout the automotive industry. The incident serves as a stark reminder of the growing prevalence of cyberthreats and the potential vulnerabilities faced by businesses that rely on digital infrastructure.

Implications for the Future

The shift towards manual processes in the aftermath of the cyberattacks highlights the importance of business continuity planning and the need for dealerships to invest in resilient systems that can withstand future threats. The incident is expected to accelerate the adoption of robust cybersecurity measures and the exploration of alternative software solutions by the industry.


The cyberattacks targeting CDK Global have forced car dealerships to grapple with the challenges of operating without modern software solutions. The return to pen and paper processes has created significant inefficiencies and customer inconvenience. The automotive industry is grappling with the fallout of these attacks, emphasizing the need for heightened cybersecurity measures and resilient business practices in the digital age.

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