We asked 4 auto industry professionals their thoughts on the future of automotive. Here’s what they had to say…
Manager of Retail Operations at The Zanchin Automotive Group
“Dealers that are most successful all over the world, especially in Europe, have eliminated the multi level position. They have entrepreneurs working in the dealership and networking is a huge part of it, and that person selling the car is the guy who rented the cars the guy who takes you in for service, is your internet manager or fleet guy.
It's one person with a portfolio that deals with multiple people. I am sure there won't be a salesman, there won't be a sales manager, here won't be a collision guy. It'll be the same person, and you'll have multiple entrepreneurs working within the walls. No more desks. It'll be couches and having conversations.
The online purchase process and the subscription process is where people are like, ‘OK, I don't need to own a car necessarily, but I wanted to have a car.’ Subscription service may also be a factor, but realistically, I do realize that ownership probably will always be there. That's where this is moving.”
Brand Ambassador at CMP Automotive
“It looks like it's going to be a little more tailored. There's a lot of trends moving toward sales consultants taking cars to the actual home so that they have time to test right there, sometimes they don't have time to come all the way to the dealership or they want to test drive it around the area that they're constantly going to be.
It’s very tailored. I find that a lot of the selling may not happen at the dealership. I find a lot of sales going through over the phone via video messaging, a lot of it is moving away from the actual dealership.”
Sales Professional at Exclusive Auto Wholesale
“I always want to learn what's out there. I'm always interested in what other people are doing to be successful. I think the minute you think you have it licked, that's when you're in trouble.
A lot of people would say, ‘Hey, you sell 25-30 cars every month, month in, month out. You should be happy.’ Well, I'm never satisfied with that because, like I said, it's not really about a certain number. If I sold 12 cars next month, I'd be disappointed in that, but I would also trust my process. It would all come out in the wash.
One of the things I did when I first started in this business and I would recommend this to anybody that's new or anybody that's kind of stuck in a rut, is shop for a car. I sent out some enquiries on different cars that I was interested in, and I really kind of took inventory of how they were doing it. The things I liked about what they were doing, the things I didn't like about what they were doing.
A lot of dealers have really started to shorten the sales process because I believe that's what consumers want. They really want quick, they want easy. They want transparency. It's not really about price anymore. We made it about price for so many years and decades that we sort of created that price monster.”
CEO at Authntk Walkaround Videos
“So I am that guy that says people are still going to want to buy cars. I understand the fractional model. I understand the on demand model in Uber. I think one of the things being in the Mid Atlantic or in the United States in general, and the more travel overseas it becomes really apparent, that we want our own space. Right? We want our cars to represent us. We want our car environment to represent us. So first and foremost, I do believe there's going be a car buying population.
What's the future look like? I truly think it's a hybrid and by this hybrid, I think some stuff should be done online. I think you're cross shopping on things like fuel economy or 0 to 60 times, things like that. There's no better way to find that jumping online. But when you go to the dealership, you go to touch, you go to the dealership to feel, you go to the dealership to test drive. I have yet to see anyone go to the dealership to ask their sales person, ‘What's the horsepower?’
In the future, I really see the dealership being more experiential. It is interesting to me when you go to a dealership, when you're in the showroom and all the cars are locked. I don't care whether it's low or high end, I think dealerships are a destination to experience. So I think there's this interesting opportunity for dealerships to emerge to set themselves apart.”