The North Carolina DMV has banned Carvana from selling vehicles in Wake County, where their Raleigh dealership is located. for 180 days. So what does this suspension mean for the state? On today’s show, we’re pleased to welcome Robert Glaser, President of the North Carolina Automobile Dealers Association.
Glaser begins the conversation talking through the violation. The North Carolina DMV issued a judgment against Carvana in Wake County for 3 alleged violations. The first violation says Carvana sold a car before it had been inspected. The second violation is Carvana put a temporary tag from another state on the car. The third allegation is Carvana did not provide the title to the consumer.
Glaser says the real important lesson from this is it’s a wake-up call for all dealers. All dealers have to be mindful of the consumer. In North Carolina, they believe the best transaction is consumer-centric, is done by the local dealer, and is 100% open and transparent. Glaser says it’s okay to deliver the vehicle to the consumer’s home but the paperwork must be completed in the dealership.
Carvana has multiple locations in the state of North Carolina. From an operational point of view, they can operate out of another location within the state. Glaser says, the operational impact is not as significant as it is a learning opportunity for all dealers.
As far as the pandemic and chip shortage is concerned, Glaser says, dealers are doing pretty well. Inventory is a major concern but dealers are finding ways to make it work. Covid has been a concern, but Glaser says the other issue they are having is a shortage of employees. It’s tough to find employees who want to come to work in a dealership. When you combine those issues, it’s going to make Q4 of 2021 a challenging year in North Carolina, says Glaser.
Glaser says, the next order of business on his to-do list, is they are going to approve a steering committee to help with the rollout of EVs. They’re working to get ahead of the curve and to make sure they can maximize the experience from a consumer point of view. Glaser says there are three issues that could accelerate the demand for EVs. Those are the price of gas, a battery breakthrough, and a federal mandate. He says, he hopes the consumer demand equals the automotive supply, we’re going to see in a few years.
Glaser wraps up the conversation by discussing his outlook on digital retailing. He believes it’s absolutely the future of the industry. He thinks the consumer wants to do as much as they can online before they show up at the dealership. Glaser doesn’t believe they will get to a 100% digital transaction, but as close as possible.
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