In the latest episode of Inside Automotive, anchor Jim Fitzpatrick interviews Mark Cannon, the former Chief Customer Experience Officer at AutoNation. Cannon, who had a successful career spanning 27 years at AutoNation, shares his insights on the current trends in the retail automotive industry.
1. Cannon is scheduled to speak about electric vehicles in the dealership in the coming months. However, he believes the consumers are not yet ready for the fast-paced transition towards electric vehicles (EVs).
2. In a recent focus group discussion, Cannon observed that some consumers hesitated to embrace EVs due to concerns about charging during power outages caused by severe weather conditions. He believes that Toyota’s approach to hybrids aligns more with consumer preferences.
3. Cannon notes that the price point for EVs is decreasing, which is good news for consumers who are looking for more features at a lower price. However, price sensitivity remains a key issue for the industry this year.
4. This year is an election year, and the industry hopes it will not distract from progress. Despite this, concerns about high interest rates and gas prices persist. The Federal Reserve has mentioned dropping rates, which could be a positive development for the industry.
5. The industry may never return to pre-pandemic inventory levels, Yet Cannon believes “It’s ultimately up to the OEMs and how much discipline they have.” Cannon also believes that 2024 will be a pivotal year in determining where the industry goes moving forward.
6. In addition, customers now have access to more information about their desired vehicle options before even visiting a dealership. As a result, the amount of time spent at the dealership is decreasing. The process of purchasing a vehicle is becoming simpler, as customers are becoming more aware of what they want and need.
"By the time of the election, I hope to see some progress towards a common goal." – Mark Cannon.