It’s been seven days since the cyberattacks on CDK Global forced the company to shut down its software suite used by approximately 15,000 dealerships in the United States and Canada. To say it hasn’t been pretty is an understatement—the cloud-based software manages everything from parts and service work to new car sales, finance, vehicle registrations, and even company payroll. And it may not be back up until July.

CDK Global has been curiously quiet throughout the ordeal. There are no statements or acknowledgments on its public-facing website regarding the cyberattack. Messages left by Motor1 seeking comment and an update haven’t been returned. But CDK Global CEO Brian MacDonald told Automotive News that the company’s executive leadership team and sales staff are working with customers on a daily basis to find alternative solutions.

Pen And Paper Transactions

Those solutions will need to suffice for at least a few more days. An email allegedly sent to dealers on June 25 seen by Automotive News states that the service likely won’t be restored before June 30.

As for those alternatives, much of it involves simple pen and paper transactions to keep things operating but it’s not easy. Last week we spoke with the parts and service manager at a Kia dealership about life without CDK. His teams are still working, but the biggest problem could come after the software is restored.

“My paperwork is piling up really bad,” explained the manager, who wishes to remain anonymous. “It’s going to be hell generating legitimate paperwork once everything is back up. The biggest problem this week is figuring out payroll. I have techs paid off production, so we’re just going to do a three-month production average and pay their commission based off that. Payroll is all handwritten.”

Registration Hassles

On the sales side, the headaches appear to be bigger. And it’s not just related to financing. Even if you pay cash, CDK software handles new vehicle registrations online. Paperwork can be done by hand, but that adds considerable time to the process. CNN reports some states are limiting or outright refusing to accept paperwork from dealerships. As for sales staff that work on commission, delays in the process translate to delays in paychecks.

“There are a couple of salespeople here that haven’t sold anything, so their check will be near minimum wage,” said the Kia parts and service manager.

Once everything is up and running, it could still take dealerships months to recover from the fallout. And though there’s a general timeframe for restoration floating around the beginning of July, CDK has yet to provide a definitive date when its systems should be fully operational.

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Last Update: June 26, 2024