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TAKE POLL The Coming Self-Driving Car Disruption

Steve Stauning

3rd Base Coach
Mar 15, 2012
241
196
First Name
Steve
The owner and I were having this conversation yesterday, @Stauning did the work for me with this question. As a smaller dealer group, we can adapt reasonably fast. But, our question is how to prepare for the changes as they come into the market.

I would have an overriding theme in my efforts to adapt to this or any change that threatens the current model: BE SELFISH

Being selfish (as the owner) is not a bad thing. By being selfish, there will still be a dealership (even it it's eventually called something else) where people enjoying working...

I would be selfish when it came to OEM demands; I would be selfish when it came to dealing with lazy Service Advisors or Sales Managers (anyone holding me back); I would be selfish when it came to what my business is going to look like in 5, 10, 15 years and beyond.

I would also write a long-term vision (in pencil, since the landscape is always changing) and work to identify the selfish steps my team and I can take that will put us on top today, tomorrow and when that future becomes a reality.
 

joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
4,076
1,585
First Name
Joe
As a smaller dealer group, we can adapt reasonably fast. But, our question is how to prepare for the changes as they come into the market.

You're biggest advantage is your size. You're small and nimble. You've got 3-8 years to sit back and watch and react.

You can watch the cars slowly become more and more self-driving and watch how the shoppers react to it all. Be on the look out for the shopper demand for self-driving. Many shoppers will be blind sided by this fast changing technology. Many shoppers will need a technology specialist to educate them and assist in the costs vs benefits discussions. Test drives of this new tech will create a totally new test drive experience.


HTH
Joe
 
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BradyFerron

Green Pea
Oct 8, 2014
22
3
First Name
Brady
What is this battle about? IMO, it ain't about a Jetson's type future. (for you millennials, google it)

Sure the marketing and brand lift are big and the buzz of a change in the commuter experience is exciting. The economic impact of combining what we love about our vehicles (jamming out to our music, going where we want) with the benefits of public transportation (low cost, I can work on my laptop on the train) is very compelling. But that is all secondary to the main thing....

The connection of the car to a network is the battle ground. Simple example - the OEM sends a "recall fix" out via a software update directly to the vehicle. The vehicle never went into the service bay, never came to the dealership, customer is happy. Dealer doesn't have warranty work, and no customer visit.

If you think is space age - it's happening right now - http://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/w...otive-functions-could-spell-privacy-troubles/

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/forg...-car-should-scare-dealers-banks?trk=prof-post

If the vehicle can be fixed over the air - What other data is being collected? Location, radio and entertainment preferences, lifetime driving habits, driving patterns by geography... to name a few.

This data is worth trillions of dollars to marketers, insurance companies, manufacturers, etc. The new revenue streams here are interesting and represent a shift in the business that dealers need to understand, watch and participate in.

Dealer data agreements are central to this, so are your partners - both manufacturers and vendors...

Self-driving and autonomous tech will evolve and will eventually make it to the market - but the data and insight will be the major prize even before we get there...
 
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Chris Cachor

3rd Base Coach
Apr 29, 2011
439
206
First Name
Chris
How does this impact the dealer?

My opinion is that the dealer model will remain in tact unless self driving cars cannot be sold to consumers (due to legal reasons). Then I suspect OEMs will try to mimic what Tesla is doing with their service program. I think the bigger threat to dealers is not self driving cars but electric vehicles and how that impacts service/parts revenue.
 
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joe.pistell

Uncle Joe
Apr 7, 2009
4,076
1,585
First Name
Joe
Hi Chris!
IMO, this will be a loooong wave of disruption, kind of like home phones vs mobile phones. This will change everything, including the multi-generation dealer franchise business as we know it now. GM's CEO said it last year, "we'll see more change in 5-10 yrs than in the last 50"

GM's CEO Mary Barra on Recode's stage (a geek out conference)
 
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Steve Stauning

3rd Base Coach
Mar 15, 2012
241
196
First Name
Steve
IMO, this will be a loooong wave of disruption, kind of like home phones vs mobile phones.

Yep, well said. When self-driving cars become ubiquitous, they will mostly be owned by fleets, since vehicle ownership will seem as foreign as having a home phone today. It will be a huge disruption (ultimately) and dealers should be preparing today.