Situation: The business purpose, model, system, need, revenue base, function, and structure of the automotive retail sales operation called an automotive dealership is, has and will undergo even more drastic market changes, demands and realities in the next five years. Will your dealership make these changes and seize the opportunities to be “here” in the year 2018 and beyond — that is the question?
What might your dealership look like five years from now?
- Dealer Website – Dealer Websites will become very similar to Amazon with a real online store front that enables a new customer to manage and control the whole vehicle buying process without any dealer or OEM involvement including coming to the dealership.
- Leads and New Customers: Ready-made and qualified consumer-buyers will be delivered by Big Data mining companies, pre-qualified, sold and ready to drive off the lot in a matter of 30 minutes. No more lead fixation by the dealer but rather a process that enables the data tracking and mining companies to deliver a customer already sold on a specific vehicle with funding and all.
- Transportation Centers – Dealerships are becoming and will really become Vehicle Transportation Centers offering everything from new and used vehicles, personal vehicle management services, insurance, rental cars, and pickup and delivery services.
- No Auto Sales Persons: Current sales people at dealership are and will become transportation consultants providing customer education, vehicle selection advisory services, and 24-7 support of dealership clients, no longer known as customers…
- Education not Training: Dealer sales and service employees will be not be trained like they are now but rather will be “educated” by online sites, management coaching and mentorship and self-study.
- Prospecting Obsolete: No more “Ups” or standing around waiting for the next sale. Every dealership sales transaction will be done with a prequalified customer handed or delivered to the dealership sales team by a Big Data company or industry supplier.
- Parts Purchases Disappear: Most part in the dealership will not come from the OEM warehouse or a part supply house, but will be manufactured by the dealer parts department using 3-D Printing Machines.
- “Constant Car Concept”: Dealers will manage every clients (once called a customer) vehicle(s) entirely including providing temporary or interim vehicle transportation 24-7 while the client’s vehicle is being repaired, replaced, and or wise not available.
- Black Boxes in Every Car: Every day more and more vehicles are being equipped with “Black Boxes” that capture data about the performance, location, operation and utilization of the vehicle including speed, the condition of the driver and data about events and driver behavior leading up to an accident.
- Driver-less Vehicles: Major dealerships will be marketing, selling, and servicing driverless vehicles within the next 3 not 5 years, particularly in selected freeway and toll road systems.
- Dealer Image & Status: The terms “dealer,” “deal,” and even “sales” will disappear as customers become “Client for Life” no matter where the client moves or wants to take delivery and operate the new or used vehicle.
- No More Buyers, Only Users: Traditional buyers of vehicles will become users not owners by transitioning from being Owner #1 etc. to rather User #1, User #2, User #3, and so on during the 20 year life cycle of every vehicle. Dealers will provide a constant car service with complete management of every detail involved in selecting, using, maintaining, supporting or managing every vehicle in the family fleet.
The real question might be – What is going to happen to you and the great job you now have in the next 5 years? Are you going to be able to adapt, grow, and change? Will the exciting idea that your dealership is not be a place for “deals” anymore but lifetime personal vehicle management be something that your principal, general manager or department head can take in, adopt, and embrace? Will you and your dealership team be “there” in January 2018 – just five short years out?