Many things seem to be changing in the automotive industry, and dealerships are just trying to keep up. It’s harder for them to see vehicles because disruption is coming from a variety of sources. A few weeks ago in August 2018, Cox Automotive obtained Clutch Technologies, which is a technology platform offer subscription-based access for the automotive world. Since 2014, they have desired to increase mobility to consumers through automotive subscriptions.
Cox Automotive believes that mobility services are more embraced now as an alternative to vehicle ownership. Ride-hailing use has doubled, and more people focus on sharing cars and vehicle subscription services. Some people just don’t want to own cars, but still want the ability to drive and enjoy themselves.
The issue for dealerships is that they’re in the market to sell cars, which can’t happen if fewer people want to buy and own them. This new trend isn’t the only one having dealerships cringe and worry about their livelihood, though it is the most prevalent.
Impacting Future Sales
Some of the population doesn’t want to own a vehicle because they don’t want the financial burden or may not need one all the time. While shared mobility could grow revenue for the automotive industry, it could also drop annual car sales down to two percent. Therefore, fewer people are going to visit dealerships, meaning fewer opportunities to sell.
Autonomy on the Rise
Autonomous vehicles, while seemingly far in the future, are coming to be right now. However, issues with regulations and safety, as well as public knowledge, make it more unfavorable right now. Still, car makers are shifting to autonomy as much as possible and hope to create a fully autonomous vehicle within the next five years.
Of course, some of these vehicles could be used for shared mobility services, so dealers and salespeople must learn about this technology quickly.
People want to shop online, and that’s never going to change. While most dealerships have websites, they still require you to go to the dealership to make the purchase and sign the documents. However, many dealerships are considering fully-online transactions, though some believe it isn’t likely to go well. Some people are never going to utilize such services because they want a test drive, want to dicker about prices, and more. However, many people still don’t use online grocery shopping/delivery or order fast-food online, either. The point is that some people want it and it’s up to the dealerships to make it happen, especially if they want to sell more vehicles.
Consumers dislike it immensely when they go to a dealer’s website and find the perfect vehicle, only to find that it isn’t actually available on the lot. Therefore, dealers need to keep up with any online inventory they choose to showcase, making sure that they remove vehicles after they are sold. This also applies to automotive parts and accessories; if you show it online, you should have it onsite.