Have you ever felt that the automotive industry is changing before your eyes? Things that were only a concept ten years ago are becoming commonplace today. This situation can be good and bad. We as humans are creatures of habit, and it can be downright unsettling to prepare for possible disruptions or innovations (even if they benefit you in the long-run). However, to be successful, your dealership has to be ready for what is to come. So, here are some trends that may already be unfolding, or will happen in the automotive industry, and how they will hit close to home.
Those automobiles are going to look more like a computer than traditional vehicles in the years to come. The most recent Artificial Intelligence in The Automotive Industry – M&A Trend Analysis from ResearchandMarkets.com looked at over 60 deals (mergers and acquisitions). Their data found that many auto-related manufacturers and companies are acquiring AI businesses to bring more advanced autonomous vehicle technologies to automobiles.
From collecting AI-data analytics to gesture recognition, these technology companies are developing cars that can move beyond the norm and do things many never thought were possible regarding AI. While this also relates directly to what goes into the vehicle, AI will also impact how cars are made. Supply chains will sharpen to produce these advanced cars faster and more efficiently.
What this means for your dealership – Your sales team is going to need to fill the role of trainer. Customers may not understand the capabilities of these future vehicles. As a result, your team will need to become experts themselves and come up with creative ways to teach customers about what they can do.
Cryptocurrency and Blockchain
Sixty-two percent of surveyed automotive executives say blockchain will be a disruptive force in the automotive industry by 2021. The blockchain processes allow for users to keep digital ledgers of transactions that are encrypted for security. This process makes it easier to track a sale or acquire data. Cryptocurrency and blockchain have enormous implications for everything from the vehicle purchasing process to supply chain and servicing. Blockchain technologies will ensure that all data about a vehicle can be stored and captured online.
As a result, parts have less of a risk or being lost or stolen, while dealerships can easily track in-vehicle data like mileage and other diagnostics. However, this also opens the door for the expansion of customers purchasing cars using cryptocurrency. This currency can simplify the purchasing process as there is no intermediary (ex. bank) between the customer and the dealership, and no financial information (such as accounting or routing numbers) needs to be exchanged, so it adds a layer of security to the transaction.
What this means for your dealership – Cryptocurrency and blockchain can impact your supply chain, how customers purchase your vehicles, and how you track their data once they drive off the lot. It may be necessary to work with a data analyst in the future as blockchain will allow you to collect a large amount of digital information that you will need to analyze and act upon (especially for marketing and servicing).
Consistent Changing of Consumer Tastes
If you think the last decade has seen a significant shift in what customers are looking for, wait until the next decade. Customer tastes are more advanced than just whether they prefer SUVs or mid-sized sedans. Consumers place much stock in all parts of the research and purchasing process. For example, customers regard the customer experience as a huge part of whether they decide to purchase from a dealership or not.
So, creating more value for customers and developing a more convenient experience will reign supreme as we move into the next decade. Customers want customized messaging, personalized recommendations, and attention-to-detail regarding their preferences. Because of the availability of more customer data than ever before, your dealership will have the tools to adapt to customer changes quickly, and will also be expected to.
What this means for your dealership – Customers are expecting consistent customization and recommendations that are specific to their needs. As a result, your dealership staff, and specifically, your marketing team will have to continue to collect data that allows your team to be agile in meeting ever-evolving consumer tastes.
From handling autonomous vehicles to preparing for even more advanced consumer taste changes, the future is going to require some quick solutions. However, the dealers who can adapt and create streamlined processes to address these disruptions will win out. The automotive industry will become an early adopters market, and those who jump on and develop the right systems at the best times are in a position to beat out the competition.