Today on CBT News, Kerri Wise joins the show to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing the retail automotive industry. Wise is the Vice President of Communications at TrueCar.
Wise begins the interview by providing her perspective on where the industry currently stands. She said that TrueCar is optimistic about the outlook for 2021, with a sales forecast of 16 million vehicles for the year. With the average new-car transaction surpassing $40,000, Wise believes more consumers will turn to used vehicles this year to find something that is both reliable and affordable.
Wise then discusses the ongoing debate between buying directly from the OEM versus buying a vehicle from the dealer. While some consumers will choose to buy directly, Wise believes that car shoppers will continue to want to buy from the auto dealers to cut down on the complexity of the process.
Auto dealers still have work to do when it comes to attracting more women to the industry. Wise says that the representation of women has improved recently through organizations such as Women in Automotive and Women of Color Automotive Network (WOCAN). Wise believes that many auto dealers in the industry don’t quite understand the importance of bringing more women to the industry and see it more as checking a box on a list.
“Think about it in terms of just employees overall,” said Wise. “If we make the dealership culture better for women, we’re also making it better for millennials, we’re making it better for people who have never worked in automotive. We have to think about it broader than just women.”
Wise concludes the conversation by discussing the importance of diversity and growing minority representation in the industry. She says that when attention is dedicated to pressing issues, such as diversity in automotive, change begins to take place. WOCAN has grown to over 300 members despite only starting in August of 2020. Wise says that she has received emails from women who have become members of the organization that have found encouragement from the advocacy they receive through WOCAN.
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