Gary McCraw, Director of NADA, recently visited the NADA convention in the USA where he saw a shift in the potential trends surrounding the future of dealerships
Having attended the NADA USA Convention during March 2018, it was interesting to note, that in the past few years there had been a very strong focus towards digitalisation and the advent of virtual dealerships.
In 2018, NADA USA has tempered its view on this potential trend and has taken a more pragmatic look at the future structure of motor vehicle dealerships.
Research conducted by NADA USA concluded that the average new motor vehicle franchised dealership would see many changes to how the dealership would be set up and run, but no significant “disruption” to the underlying business model would take place. Although this was the overriding conclusion, it was made very clear that digitisation and virtual purchases should form part of the broader business strategy of a dealership.
In essence, the motor vehicle business is still very much a people’s business and we need to ensure that the youth of today are exposed to the industry at an early age and they be encourage to enter the industry as their career of choice.
Attracting youth into the retail motor industry is also a key challenge within SA and a solution needs to be found to educate this sector of our population as to the career opportunities that exist within our vibrant industry.
In the USA there was also strong focus regarding on-going training within the dealership environment as a key deliverable, and there is strong evidence that relevant focused training gives the highest return on investment for a dealership.
Another area that was highlighted was the need to maximise sales within the workshop and parts departments in an endeavour to ensure financial sustainability of the business as a whole. It was suggested that that could be achieved by attracting more customers by making use of digital marketing (including videos). It was interesting to note that according to research conducted in the USA, when surfing the internet people will click 51 times more on a video than normal text.
The research indicated that the by 2015 the penetration of electric vehicles would be less than 5%.