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Managing culture change: The challenges facing the automotive industry

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In this series of blogs about the future of automotive retail we have looked at the challenges currently facing the industry. The linear processes of a facility-focused model are no longer fit for purpose. We have looked at how companies need to embrace a holistic, online, and offline presence that provides exceptional customer experiences in order to compete. The way that brands manage this shift will be key to their success going forward.

Manufacturers still require a physical presence where buyers can see, touch, and drive the cars that they are interested in buying. These cars will still need to be serviced and repaired. However, the way that these services are delivered needs to be approached differently.

Online sales are now more secure, and people are more confident in making significant purchases, such as cars, online. The pandemic has only served to accelerate this trend. According to Haig Partners, an American auto dealership brokerage, “nearly 30% of US new car sales last year were completed online. Before the pandemic, less than 2% of vehicles were purchased digitally”. This will have a huge impact on how the industry does business and on the scale, functions, and locations of car dealerships. The way in which brands meet the evolving needs of customers will need to be very carefully managed.

The traditional franchised network model has had a huge amount invested in it thus far, and this cannot be easily ‘written off’. It is vital that rather than attempting to apply fragmented and disparate fixes that will not deliver the holistic, sustainable change required, a well-designed, carefully-considered service design process is applied.

At Engine Service Design, our experience in the automotive industry has given us the opportunity to help fix, re-imagine, and innovate services that help our clients deliver brilliant customer experiences. If you would like to talk to us to find out how we can be of service to you, please get in touch: we would love to help.

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