In an ever evolving automotive industry, driven by technological advancements, shifting consumer behavior, and emerging mobility trends, car dealerships find themselves at a critical crossroads. The future of automobile dealerships in Germany is a topic of immense significance, with implications not only for the automotive sector but also for the overall mobility ecosystem.
The days are long gone when dealerships were the only places that facilitated the purchase of automobiles. The rise of online shopping, digital retail platforms, and direct-to-consumer sales is challenging the conventional dealership model. In this blog, we will delve into the intricate dynamics of consumers, dealerships and OEMs. Our goal is simple: to present dealerships with concrete strategies to navigate the topsy-turvy roads that lie ahead of them.
Broadly, the future challenges for the dealerships can be grouped into three distinct categories: Electric Vehicle Sales, Customer Relationships, and Differentiation. Let's delve deeper into each category to gain a comprehensive understanding of the hurdles and the opportunities that lie within:
1. Electric Vehicle Sales
As the automotive industry undergoes a significant shift towards electric vehicles (EVs), dealerships in Germany are confronted with the challenge of meeting OEM sales targets. According to a report by EY, the number of EVs on German roads is expected to increase from 570,000 in 2020 to 14 million by 2030.
While automakers set ambitious goals, the understanding and acceptance of EVs among customers still remain limited. Customers often express concerns regarding the availability and accessibility of charging infrastructure, as well as the range of EVs. They inquire about practicalities such as where and how to charge their vehicles, as well as the associated costs related to charging. These concerns, understandably, pose a significant hurdle for dealerships striving to achieve their sales objectives. Overcoming these obstacles requires innovative solutions that instill confidence in customers and facilitate a seamless transition to electric mobility.
2. Customer Relationships
In an era of digitalisation, dealerships face a critical challenge in maintaining their role as trusted advisors to customers. Trust serves as the cornerstone of successful relationships. Are the salespeople within dealerships knowledgeable about the emergence of new technologies? Can they provide reliable and accurate information? In a survey of 2018, 50% of customers that took part in it stated that personal advice by a trustable advisor still was paramount to them before buying a car. Without demonstrating credibility and expertise on the part of the dealership, establishing that crucial trust becomes an uphill battle. However, trust extends beyond mere product knowledge. It encompasses every stage of the customer journey, from the initial interaction to post-purchase support, presenting numerous opportunities to cultivate strong customer relationships and foster trust and loyalty.
Within this context, one often overlooked aspect of the customer journey that holds immense potential in building robust relationships is data. By leveraging advanced data analytics and customer relationship management systems, dealerships can gain valuable insights into customer behavior, preferences, and needs. With this knowledge, dealerships can anticipate customer requirements, offer personalized recommendations, and deliver exceptional service. In this context, dealerships must think of novel ways to improve customer relationships through data beyond the point of sale.
Gone are the days when dealerships could easily set themselves apart in the market through competitive pricing and unique services. The landscape has shifted drastically as OEMs are exploring new distribution channels, particularly in the realm of electric vehicles (EVs). Not only are OEMs dictating the pricing of EVs, but they are also experimenting with direct sales to customers. As a result, dealerships find themselves struggling with limited options for differentiation among other dealerships based solely on price.
Moreover, customer perceptions have also changed. In a survey, 63% of customers said that they would buy directly online from OEMs and 50% via a third party’s online platform rather than going to a dealership in-person. To overcome this challenge, dealerships must think creatively and develop strategies to carve a distinctive path in the market, creating compelling reasons for customers to choose their dealership over others.
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Enter Cariqa—a solution that offers amazing possibilities for car dealerships. With its intuitive interface and integrated functionalities, Cariqa as an app assists drivers to effortlessly locate nearby charging stations, providing real-time information on charging availability. It also simplifies the charging process, monitors charging status, and offers transparent pricing. With access to over 290,000 charging stations across Europe, this app helps customers gain a better understanding of their EVs and facilitates a seamless transition to electric mobility.
Not only that, a strategic collaboration with Cariqa allows car dealerships to explore new avenues for customer engagement and differentiation, thereby creating an edge in the competitive market. Moreover, by engaging with customers beyond the point of sale through Cariqa, dealerships establish credibility in the realm of electromobility, solidifying their position as trusted partners.
Feeling ready to tackle the challenges? Take the first step and reach out to Cariqa today. Simply click here to write an email. Don't miss out on the opportunity to stand out in a saturated market, serve customers with confidence, and embrace the exciting new world of electric mobility with Cariqa by your side.
As the world witnesses rapid advancements in electric vehicles, shifting consumer behavior, and emerging mobility trends, dealerships must reimagine their role in the value chain to stay relevant and capture the hearts and minds of consumers. To do so, collaboration with platforms like Cariqa can enable dealerships to streamline the EV ownership experience, become trusted advisors, and offer unique value to customers. This offers a win-win situation, both for the dealerships as well as the customers - for the dealerships, as they stand out in a saturated market and for the customers who are more confident in this transition to electromobility.