Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies (Tables)

Summary of Significant Accounting Policies (Tables)
9 Months Ended
Sep. 30, 2020
Accounting Policies [Abstract]  
Unusual Risks and Uncertainties
COVID 19 – The COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted the global economy beginning in the first quarter of 2020. During the first three quarters of 2020, the impact on the economy affected both consumer demand and supply of manufactured goods as many countries around the world and states and municipalities in the United States (the “U.S.”) mandated restrictions on citizen movements (i.e., shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders) or on retail trade or manufacturing activities at physical locations. As a result, many businesses curtailed operations and furloughed or terminated many positions. In the U.S., the government passed several measures through the legislature that were signed by the President and enacted into law. Those measures include the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Both such acts attempt to provide short-term relief to families and businesses as a result of the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a result of the pandemic and related shelter-in-place or stay-at-home orders, we transitioned many of our teammates to remote work arrangements. In situations where a teammate’s role does not permit remote work (i.e., service repair technicians), we have implemented staggered work hours and other social distancing measures to promote the health and safety of our teammates and guests. As a result of the systems and infrastructure we had in place prior to the pandemic, we have been able to effectively maintain our back-office operations, financial reporting and internal control processes with minimal disruption.
All of our store operations have been impacted by the crisis to varying degrees. During the end of the first quarter of 2020 and the first two months of the second quarter of 2020, the majority of our stores were not permitted to conduct retail sales of new and used vehicles at our physical locations. Those locations could offer virtual sales transactions with “contactless” delivery to customers. As of September 30, 2020, most of such restrictions have been relaxed; however, our stores remain subject to certain health and safety policies and practices that may affect the way we sell vehicles and interact with our guests. Due to the critical nature of automotive repair, our fixed operations were deemed “essential” by governmental agencies and have been able to continue to conduct business throughout the pandemic to date, but must maintain certain local standards for social distancing to promote the health and safety of our teammates and guests.
The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to evolve. While we currently expect to see continued economic recovery in the remainder of 2020 and into 2021, the ongoing pandemic may cause changes in customer behaviors, including a potential reduction in consumer spending for vehicles and automotive repairs, especially if the pandemic worsens or the regulatory environment changes in response to the pandemic. This may lead to increased asset recovery and valuation risks, such as impairment of additional long-lived assets. In addition, uncertainties in the global economy may negatively impact our suppliers and other business partners, which may interrupt our supply chain and require other changes to our operations. These and other factors may adversely impact our revenues, operating income and earnings per share financial measures.
Based on the events and circumstances around the COVID-19 pandemic, during the first quarter of 2020, we evaluated our long-lived assets for impairment. This evaluation included reviews of fixed assets and related right-of-use assets, franchise assets and goodwill. As a result of this evaluation, we determined the carrying values of all long-lived assets to be recoverable at March 31, 2020 with the exception of goodwill related to our franchised dealership reporting unit, resulting in a non-cash goodwill impairment charge of $268.0 million. One of the primary factors which contributed to the conclusion that goodwill was impaired was the decline in the market value of Sonic’s stock between the announcement date of the pandemic on March 11, 2020 and March 31, 2020. Based on the improvement in our business operations and market value during the second and
third quarters of 2020, as well as our future forecast expectations, no further impairment assessment was required. See Note 5 for further discussion.
Recent Accounting Pronouncements – In June 2016, the Financial Accounting Standards Board issued Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) 2016-13, “Financial Instruments - Credit Losses (Accounting Standards Codification (“ASC”) Topic 326): Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments.” The amendment in this update replaced the previous incurred loss impairment methodology of recognizing credit losses when a loss is probable, with a methodology that reflects expected credit losses and requires consideration of a broader range of reasonable and supportable information to assess credit loss estimates. This ASU was effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 2019. We adopted this ASU as of January 1, 2020 and the effects of this ASU did not materially impact our unaudited condensed consolidated financial statements.