Automotive industry consultant Mike Jones talked on the Car Dealer Podcast about the changing role of dealers and agency sales.
He appeared on the latest episode of the show with James Baggott and Rebecca Chaplin, which can now be played on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify, as they discuss the top stories of the week.
He said: ‘Some of them are starting to get worried about it and are planning the business, almost trying to take the future into their own hands.
‘Some are just assuming they’ll be alright, as long as the brand wants the retailers as a distribution channel or a buffer between them and the real customer.
Agency is a big issue but it’s not as far advanced as some people thought it was three to six months ago. The brands are still working their way around how they can make it work and we’re seeing some evolution of that.
He added: ‘I think dealers need to prepare for it and take certain actions on their own. I do think dealers will be OK.
‘For my mind, if the dealer provides value in the customer cycle then they will be OK. The customer still needs to have the car explained, wants to test drive, and wants somebody to chat with in this huge change to electrification we’re going through then I think the dealer can play that role well.’
Jones said that there’s more outside of that, too, for dealers to consider at the moment and commented: ‘There’s also a complete change in the way the customer works now, too. The Covid crisis has seen the retail space more forward about five years in one.
‘They can now bounce between online and offline, which is what they want to do, but we’ve not seen the same changes in the dealership staffing structure that we need to to reflect that. People are still working their way through that model, working out how and what they should be doing. They’re working through how customers want to be dealt with and at what time.’
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