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According to Mark Dommisse, National Chairman of the National Automobile Dealers’ Association (NADA), the retail motor industry needs to embrace the ever-growing presence of digital disruptors, now more than ever.
“These disruptors are competitors to the traditional dealer model, used car supply and F&I departments,” says Dommisse. “According to recent research conducted by NADA USA, almost 100% of cars are researched and specified online and following up with the purchase and final decision in-dealer.
“In South Africa, the trend of consumers using the internet when planning a purchase or service is on the up. We see a growing number of people or businesses researching their vehicle purchase on line, only walking in to dealerships to test drive the vehicle, check on the credibility of the dealer and its facilities, and then conclude the purchase. We encourage dealers’ to look at their current marketing plans and to evolve and align with this new generation of customer,” Dommisse continues.
“New vehicle sales have a challenging year ahead. We were privileged to attend a presentation by WesBank’s Chris de Kock, where he shared WesBank’s predictions for 2019. In summary, the predictions are:
- Minor Decline in 2019 New Vehicle Sales
- Data shows that consumers are either delaying purchases, buying downwards or are moving out of the premium market and into the mainstream segments
- In 2019, hope for the motor industry comes in the form of more lenient visa rules for tourists which will boost travel and tourism. This is welcome news for rental market
- Alleviated drought conditions in Cape Town are also likely to have a positive impact on this market, especially with an anticipated increase in domestic business travel – again benefiting the rental market
- WesBank predicts that overall sales of passenger vehicles will decline 1.5% in 2019
- Motor manufacturers are under pressure around the world and a global decline is expected
- Locally, dealers’ and manufacturers will no longer be able to offer lucrative marketing incentives to aid sales
“With a multitude of challenges facing us this year, we need to relook the way we do business. We can’t continue to offer solutions on the same basis as we’ve done before,” concludes Dommisse.