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Cyberattack Cripples Dealerships Across US, Including Middle Tennessee

Cyberattack Cripples Dealerships Across US, Including Middle Tennessee

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WTVF) – A widespread cyberattack has disrupted operations at thousands of auto dealerships across North America, forcing many to revert to old-school methods of conducting business.

The attack has significantly impacted service and sales, including at dealerships in Middle Tennessee.

Stan Norton, managing partner and chief operating officer of City Auto in Murfreesboro and Memphis, reported that while its sales were not affected, its service operations were severely affected.

“I’ve been in business for 38 years and this is probably one of the worst events I’ve seen impact the entire industry,” Norton said.

The disruption began last week when CDK Global, a leading provider of dealer management software, experienced back-to-back cyberattacks. These attacks have left approximately 15,000 auto dealers, many of them in Middle Tennessee, without the software necessary to manage their sales and service operations.

CDK Global has identified the incident as a “rescue event.”

This has forced many merchants to conduct business with pen and paper.

This method has not only slowed down operations but has also affected the financial results of these companies.

“Not only does it affect us as a dealer, but if other dealers can’t sell cars, we can’t produce service invoices and we don’t collect sales tax,” Norton explained.

Although City Auto uses different software for sales, its service department is still feeling the effects. The dealership relies on suppliers from the affected dealerships to order parts for repairs, causing delays.

“We are waiting for parts for 25 to 30 vehicles. Our customers are simply waiting because their vehicles cannot be serviced without the necessary parts,” Norton said.

The cyberattack has highlighted vulnerabilities within the industry and emphasized the need for better cybersecurity measures. Norton views the incident as a critical learning experience for the future.

CDK Global has informed dealers that software tools essential to their operations will likely be unavailable for the remainder of the month, extending the period of disruption and uncertainty for many businesses.

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