If you’re like many of us in automotive, your inbox is full of forwarded articles like this one from the Wall Street Journal proclaiming the demise of car ownership. This threatening disruption is causing much buzz – and much speculation. But although we can’t predict the future, one thing’s for sure: we need to step up to the challenge of innovating for whatever tomorrow brings.
The auto industry has always been a space for explosive growth. Transportation is a core human need that spurs enormous business opportunities – and also leads to game-changing innovation. Think about it from a historical perspective: for 15,000 years, humans have been trying to get from point A to point B faster and more safely.
In the ancient world, this led to serious innovations involving horses and camels, driving enormous economic opportunity: saddles, stirrups, feed supply, roads, and new commerce all emerged as a result. (Who were those Tier 3 camel transport suppliers?) These powerful new transportation models granted ancient kingdoms military superiority and economic superpowers.
With all this potential, it’s no surprise that the most innovative corporations of our time – Google, Apple, Amazon – are turning an eye to transportation. And it’s not just autonomous driving and connected cars that are catching the attention of retail giants – it’s establishing sales models that put them into direct competition with today’s dealership, powered by some of the most sophisticated marketing tools available.
Competing with such giants is a daunting prospect – but if we’re being honest, inevitable. Dealers facing the current landscape will find themselves going head to head with great companies to capture the attention of tomorrow’s car shopper. To be successful, they need access to the tools that enable the likes of Amazon to be so successful. [Read more…]