The Complete Roadmap to the Future of Car Dealerships
The auto industry is in the midst of a massive transformation, and car dealerships are struggling to keep up. Online car buying is on the rise, and dealerships are losing out to startups that allow customers to buy cars without ever stepping foot inside a showroom. This shift has forced dealerships to rethink their business models, and many are now preparing for a future in which they have to completely overhaul their way of selling. As a result, dealerships will focus on providing both online experiences and experiences that cannot be replicated online. Car buyers will still visit dealerships, but the landscape of transactions may look a lot different.
Why Should Your Dealership Care?
Why should your dealership care about the future of the automotive industry? Because if you don't adapt, you'll be left behind. The days of the traditional processes in car dealerships are numbered, and those who want to stay in business need to prepare for a future in which a more digitized future is the norm. Additionally, there are a number of new technologies that can help your dealership offer an unparalleled customer experience. By embracing these technologies and changing the way you do business, you'll be able to stay ahead of the competition and remain profitable in the long run.
Vehicles that Will Shape the Automotive Landscape
As cars become more and more connected, dealerships will need to adapt to a new way of doing business. With technology becoming more and more advanced, it's no surprise that the automotive industry is following suit. Cars are now being equipped with features that allow them to connect to the internet, and this trend is only going to continue in the years ahead. This shift has already begun to take hold, with nearly one-third of all new cars sold in 2017 coming equipped with some form of connectivity.
What does this mean for car dealerships? For starters, dealers will need to embrace new technologies in order to stay competitive. They will also need to find ways to provide an experience that can't be replicated online. Buying a car is no longer just about buying a product; it's about establishing a relationship with the dealership. In order for dealerships to survive in the age of connected vehicles, they will need to focus on providing an experience that customers cannot get anywhere else.
Electric vehicles are the future of car sales. This is not a new trend; in fact, it has been happening for years. Electric vehicles are no longer a niche market; they account for about 20% of all new car sales in the United States.
The rise in electric vehicle sales is being driven by a number of factors, including advances in technology and an increasing focus on sustainability. Electric vehicles are more efficient than gas-powered cars, and they emit far less pollution. As the world becomes more environmentally conscious, it's likely that electric vehicles will only become more popular.
What does this mean for dealerships? In order to stay ahead of the curve, dealers will need to start stocking electric vehicles. They will also need to be prepared to answer customers' questions about these vehicles. As electric vehicles become more mainstream, it's important for dealerships to position themselves as experts on the topic.
Self-driving cars could be implemented into the future of transportation, and they're already starting to make their way onto the roads. These vehicles are equipped with sensors and software that allow them to navigate without the need for human input. While self-driving cars are still in their infancy, they are expected to become more common in the years ahead.
Car dealerships are preparing for a future in which autonomous vehicles are a common sight on the roads. While it's still unclear how this technology will be used, many dealers are exploring the possibility of using autonomous vehicles as shuttle transportation to and from the dealership. This would be a major shift for the automotive industry, and it's important for dealers to start planning for it now.
There are a number of benefits to using autonomous vehicles as shuttle transportation. For starters, it would allow dealerships to reduce their carbon footprint. Autonomous vehicles are more efficient than gas-powered cars, and they emit far less pollution. In addition, using autonomous vehicles would save dealers money on transportation costs.
It's still too early to say how autonomous vehicles will be used in the automotive industry, but it's clear that they will play a major role in the years ahead. Car dealerships that start planning for this now will be better prepared for the future.
Digitization in the Automotive Industry
Improving the Customer Experience
Dealerships are using digital solutions to improve the customer experience in a number of ways. Dealerships are using digital tools to provide transparency into the car buying process. Customers can use these tools to research different cars, compare prices, and read reviews. This allows customers to make informed decisions about which car is best for them.
In addition, dealerships are using digital solutions to improve the customer experience after the sale is complete. For example, dealerships are using telematics systems to provide customers with real-time information about their car's performance. This allows customers to stay informed about their car's status and makes it easier for them to address any issues that may arise.
Digital solutions are playing an increasingly important role in the automotive industry. Car dealerships that embrace these technologies will be better equipped to compete in the years ahead.
Telematics systems are becoming increasingly common in the automotive industry. Many new cars are equipped with these systems, and many dealerships offer them as an aftermarket option. Telematics systems provide a number of benefits to customers, including peace of mind and improved customer service. They allow dealers to provide customers with valuable information about their car's performance. In addition, they help dealerships to build customer loyalty by providing a high level of customer service.
Telematics systems are equipped with sensors that track a car's performance. This data is then sent to a central server, where it can be accessed by the customer. This allows customers to monitor things like fuel consumption, engine temperature, and location. Telematics systems can help customers identify critical information about their car. For example, if the car's engine is overheating, the telematics system will notify the customer. This allows customers to address any issues that may arise quickly and efficiently.
Shuttle Transportation Software
Dealerships are always looking for ways to become more efficient and reduce their costs. One way that they are doing this is by using shuttle transportation software. This software allows dealerships to automate the process of scheduling shuttle transportation.
Using route optimization technology, the software finds the best routes for customers, saving time and money. In addition, it allows the software to optimize the use of fuel, making sure that the shuttle travels as efficiently as possible. This can help to reduce waste, limit emissions, and save money that the dealership is using on fuel.
The best shuttle transportation software uses automated texting to notify customers when their ride will arrive. This allows the customer to plan their trip and know exactly when they need to leave for their appointment. It also allows the customer to be notified if there is a change in the schedule. This can help to reduce wait times and make the customer's experience more pleasant.
More people are buying cars online than ever before. This is causing a number of challenges for dealerships, as they struggle to compete with the convenience and low prices offered by online sellers. There are a number of different strategies dealerships can do to counter this trend, covered below.
Changing Demographics of Car Buyers
New Car Buyers are Now Women
One of the most notable changes in the automotive industry is the changing demographics of car buyers. In the past, the average car buyer was a white male. However, this is no longer the case. The average new car buyer is now a woman, and the number of minority buyers is increasing every year.
This change in demographics is having a significant impact on the automotive industry. Car companies are now focusing on producing cars that appeal to a wider range of buyers. In addition, dealerships are adapting their sales strategies to meet the needs of these new customers.
There are a number of reasons for this change. Women are now the primary earners in many households, and they have more disposable income than ever before. They also have a greater say in household decisions, including car buying decisions.
There are a number of features that appeal to women when it comes to cars. For starters, women are often drawn to cars that are fuel-efficient. This is because they want to save money on gasoline and be environmentally-friendly. In addition, many women appreciate cars with a lot of features and amenities. They want to feel safe and comfortable when driving, and they appreciate cars with advanced technology.
Gen-Z is the first generation to grow up in a world where cars can be bought online. This has had a significant impact on their car buying behavior. Gen-Z is comfortable with buying things online, and they appreciate the convenience and low prices that are offered by online sellers. In addition, they are more price-sensitive than older generations. This means that they are more likely to shop around for the best deal before making a purchase.
Gen-Z is also interested in environmental issues, and many of them are interested in buying electric cars. They see electric cars as a way to reduce their carbon footprint and help preserve the environment. Dealerships need to adapt their sales strategies to meet the needs of Gen-Z car buyers.
Finally, Gen-Z is heavily influenced by social media and technology. They are more likely to research cars online before making a purchase, and they are also more likely to use mobile devices when looking for cars. Their search habits differ from what has been the norm, with video and social media platforms becoming a major way to learn information. Dealerships need to make sure that their websites and apps are optimized for mobile devices in order to capture the attention of Gen-Z car buyers.
How New Technologies will Change Servicing
As these new technologies continue to develop in the automotive industry, car dealerships will need to adapt their service procedures to keep up. If dealerships don't make the incremental changes in advance, service departments may be looking at a complete overhaul.
Service Manual Updates and Employee Training
These types of technologies would require dealerships to update their service manuals and training programs for technicians and owners. The new technologies would need to be fully understood before technicians could work on them.
New technology always has the potential for bugs and maintenance issues. New installments like windshield displays would need to be calibrated regularly to ensure that the information is accurate. Any software updates would require the owner to regularly approve and install updates so the equipment is functioning to its maximum potential.
Service departments will need to change inventory purchases to ensure they have sufficient parts for the new vehicles. The parts specific to the new technologies dealerships would need to stock or have plans for ordering.
Many new technologies are emerging that will change the way people buy and service cars. These technologies will improve the customer experience by making it easier for customers to find information, get repairs done quickly, and more.
With digitization, customers will be able to access information about cars more easily. They will be able to see all the options available to them, compare prices, and read reviews before making a purchase.
Another way digitization will improve the customer experience is by making service appointments easier to schedule. Customers will be able to book appointments online, and they will be able to see real-time updates about their car's service status. This will make it simpler for customers to keep track of their car's repairs and avoid long wait times at the service department.
Technology regulations at dealerships can be difficult to keep up with. As technologies continue to develop in the automotive industry, dealerships will need to adapt their service procedures to keep up. At present, there aren't many regulations that inhibit a dealership from using certain types of technology. However, if autonomous vehicles are ever used as a shuttle service, regulations could quickly be a more pressing matter for rooftops.
Strategies to Embrace the Future
Invest in Technology to Make the Car Buying & Servicing Easier
Integrating technology software into your dealership can help you get a jump start on the future of fleet management. This software will help you to manage and maintain your fleet more efficiently by tracking vehicle performance, scheduling maintenance, and keeping stock levels up-to-date. Additionally, this software can be used to track customer information, allowing you to better tailor your services to their needs. It is important to invest in technologies that will help you stay competitive as the industry continues to evolve.
One way that dealerships can invest in technology to make servicing vehicles easier is by using mobile apps. These apps allow the dealership to connect with the customer's car and perform a number of tasks, such as diagnosing problems and updating software. In addition, the app can provide the customer with information about their car's health and performance.
Another way that dealerships can invest in technology is by using online tools. These tools allow customers to book appointments, track their service history, and find out about recalls. They also provide information about the dealership's services and allow customers to purchase parts and accessories online.
If your customer chooses to physically take their car to your dealership as opposed to using a mobile specialist, you will need to provide a way for customers to get to and from your dealership. Having this transportation is expected by today's customers. If you don't have an in-house shuttle that uses shuttle management software, you risk the reputation of your dealership and will likely lose business to your competitors.
Social media is a powerful tool that can be used to connect with potential customers. It allows dealerships to build relationships with customers and create a rapport. Car dealerships can also use social media to share information about their products and services. This allows potential customers to learn more about the dealership and the cars that they sell. Additionally, car dealerships can use social media to respond to customer complaints and receive feedback from customers.
Invest in a Diverse Fleet
The most obvious reason is because this will help the dealership to attract more customers. Developing cars for a diverse fleet will help the dealership to stay competitive in the market. What kinds of technologies should you look out for in your future fleets?
Augmented Reality Windshields
Augmented reality windshields are a technology that is still in development, but it is expected to become popular in the near future. These windshields allow drivers to see information about their surroundings while they are driving. For example, they can be used to show directions, information about the nearest gas station, speed, car performance, and more.
Inter-vehicle Communication Systems
Inter-vehicle communication systems allow cars to communicate with each other and share information about their surroundings. This can be used to improve safety on the road by warning drivers of potential hazards. The technology may also be used to improve traffic flow by coordinating the movement of cars.
Energy-Storing Body Panels
Energy-storing panels would allow cars to store energy from renewable sources, such as solar and wind power. This energy could then be used to power the car or recharge its battery. Additionally, these panels could be used to improve the efficiency of the car by reducing its energy consumption.
Another way to stay ahead of the game and prepare your dealership for the future is to invest in more fuel-efficient cars. Hybrid and electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular, as they allow customers to save on fuel costs while also reducing their carbon footprint. As more customers look for fuel-efficient vehicles, investing in these cars can help to keep your dealership competitive. If autonomous cars are ever released to the public, those with hybrid and electric vehicles may be more likely to purchase these cars. By investing in fuel-efficient vehicles now, you can ensure that you are prepared for the possible changes that may come to the future of the automotive industry.
With features to help in safety such as assisted braking, 360 degree cameras, and connected mobile apps becoming a regular part of new vehicles, the possibilities of what can be implemented are nearly endless. Thermal cameras, hydrogen fuel cells, and airbags that help stop cars are all viable candidates for becoming a part of the mass market. With so many different possibilities, becoming an early adopter may put your dealership at an advantage.
Offer More Financing Options
As the future of the dealership changes, it is important for dealerships to offer more financing options to their customers. This will help to ensure that customers are able to purchase the cars that they want and help to build trust between the customer and the dealership.
There are a number of reasons why dealerships should offer more financing options. First, as the industry changes, there is a greater demand for electric and hybrid cars. These cars are often more expensive than traditional gasoline-powered cars, so it is important for dealerships to offer financing options that will allow customers to purchase these vehicles.
Second, new technologies are emerging that could significantly change the automotive industry. For example, augmented reality windshields and inter-vehicle communication systems could become common features in cars that will be in high demand. If dealerships want to stay competitive, they will need to offer financing options that allow customers to purchase these new technologies.
Third, if autonomous cars ever make it to mass market, the need for car ownership will decrease as more people will be able to get around affordably without having to own a vehicle. This means that customers may be less likely to purchase a car outright and will instead opt for car rental or sharing services. In order to compete in this market, dealerships will need to offer financing options that allow customers to rent or lease cars easily.
Offering more financing options is not only important for competing in the current marketplace; it is also crucial for preparing for the future of the automotive industry. As technologies continue to evolve, dealerships will need to be prepared to finance vehicles that include these new features. By offering a variety of financing options, dealerships can ensure that they are able to meet the needs of all their customers.
Make the Online Customer and Buyer Journey Easier
Dealerships need to make it easy for customers to buy cars online. This means providing a user-friendly website and offering a variety of payment options. In addition, dealerships should make sure that their inventory is up-to-date and that they are using the latest technologies.
Second, dealerships need to focus on customer service. This means providing a high level of support before, during, and after the sale. Dealerships should also make sure that their staff is knowledgeable about the latest digital technologies.
Third, dealerships need to find ways to reduce their costs. This may mean investing in new technologies to increase profits and allow employees to spend time on tasks that aren't related to front office operations. Whatever the case may be, dealerships need to find ways to streamline their operations and become more efficient.
Lastly, the servicing process needs to be as friction-free as possible. Allow customers to schedule and select specific services online. When customers come in to your dealership to drop off their vehicle, ensure that you provide an in-house shuttle service that automates routes and updates the customer on their ride. Customers shouldn't have to spend hours waiting in your lobby; otherwise, they will become frustrated and take their business elsewhere next time.
Start Integrating Technology Software Now
Integrating technology software into your dealership can help you get a jump start on the future of purchasing and servicing. This software will help you to manage and maintain your fleet more efficiently by tracking vehicle performance, scheduling maintenance, and keeping stock levels up-to-date. Additionally, this software can be used to track customer information, allowing you to better tailor your services to their needs.
It is important to stay up-to-date on the latest news and trends in the automotive industry. This knowledge can help you stay ahead of the curve and prepare for changes that may occur in the future. By staying informed and investing in technology, you will be able to keep your dealership competitive and prepare for the future of the automotive industry.
Dealerships are Here to Stay
Although technology is changing car buying habits, dealerships aren't going away any time soon. In fact, dealerships will become even more important as the automotive industry continues to evolve.
One reason for this is that dealerships provide a valuable service in terms of expert advice. While it is true that websites offer a large variety of information to customers, dealerships can offer personalized advice on which option is best for each customer and go into thorough detail about performance, specs, and servicing.
Another reason dealerships will continue to be important is because they offer superior customer service. When you have a problem with a product, who do you reach out to? That's right, a human! Even though chatbots can now handle a variety of issues, in many cases a human still interacts with customers to resolve issue. This is because a bot cannot currently express emotions and concern as humans do. Knowledgeable staff offer a high level of support before, during, and after the sale, and make the car buying process as easy as possible.
Invest in the Future
Although many of the vehicular technologies mentioned are still in development (and may be a while before they are implemented), it is important for dealerships to start preparing for their arrival.
By preparing your dealership for the future of the automotive industry, you can ensure that you are able to stay competitive and profitable. Investing in technology, investing in fuel-efficient cars, and offering more financing options can help you remain successful as the industry continues to evolve. With the right preparation and planning, you can ensure that your dealership is prepared for whatever changes may come in the future.