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what today's automotive consumers tell us about tomorrow

If you look closely at the consumers of today, you will catch a glimpse of the consumers of tomorrow. Today’s consumers are living in a world in which they can order anything they can fathom, and have it within a day or two. They can order groceries, schedule a time to pick them up, or even have them dropped off at their house. People are buying fully electric cars from companies with technological prowess that rivals that of NASA. We have vending machines full of cars that people can order without speaking to an automotive salesperson. Even McDonald’s has quick and easy self-serve ordering systems.

We’re living in The Fifth Element, guys.

A privately-owned automotive company spent a total of zero dollars in advertising last year and sold over 250,000 units.

Zero advertising dollars.

When is the last time a dealership did that?

Anything can be bought in an instant, and delivered in a moment. This is not a fade, it isn’t a facade. This is the life that we are living in 2019.

Tesla. Amazon.

Even Carvana, to an extent.

These three companies who had previously been laughed at by automotive dealers everywhere are slowly but surely cornering the market. Tesla and Carvana have both produced record sales within the last couple of years, and, while Amazon has yet to take the plunge into automotive sales, they became the second TRILLION dollar company, surpassed only by Apple.

What happens when Amazon decides to look into the automotive industry?

News flash: They already have.

Amazon Vehicles give consumers the ability to research any vehicle that they can think of. Consumers are already comfortable with purchasing everything else on Amazon, and now they are scrolling through cars on their site. While there are currently no talks of the company becoming a dealer, is it really too far fetched to think that one day people might be turning to Jeff Bezos to sell them a new car?

Call me crazy. Call me a conspiracy theorist. Call me what you want. All I know is that if we don’t change some things in the automotive business, then dealerships as a whole are going to begin to dry up. History has shown that those who are resistant to change are going to get left behind.

Don’t believe me? When was the last time you went to the mall?

Right.

Consumers want everything immediately, and if you aren’t able to either expedite the sales process or make it a more valuable one, then you will get left behind.

But I don’t see this as negative. Maybe it’s time to let the old habits die. Instead of being resistant to these powerhouses, why can’t we, as an industry, apply the same frame of mind, and do it better? Whereas Amazon and Tesla have the power and name recognition, we have the real automotive experience.

It is high time that the auto experts take control over this industry before someone else does.

The experts of today can be the pioneers of tomorrow, as long as they are willing to evolve to fit the needs of the modern-day consumer.