Technology can and will eventually turn the automobile industry upside down. It is a long awaited progression that started years ago. The automobile dealerships are going to look quite different in the next 5 to 10 years, and I believe it is a change that we have all hoped for. Who knows maybe you will be buying your next car at Walmart? Or perhaps Fed Ex will be delivering it to your home?
The other day I went past a car lot, and this strange thought occurred to me, “why do we even have car salesman anymore?” Now I don’t mean to sound cold, but I think the business of car sales has evolved enough to say we can now eliminate the middle man. The old system of negotiating price is replaced with consumers doing the homework on the internet. Even with used cars the story is the same, research by the consumer. Financing has also been taken out of the negotiating ring, as most people already know their credit rating and they have investigated the firm that the dealer uses for loans. Because cars are computerized now, you have an 80% reduction in the general public coming in to your parts department looking to fix their own automobiles. Some of the greatest robots and labor saving devices are already in our factories.
Also, no matter how great the magazines, coffee and juice bar is in the dealership, they too will someday be obsolete. Years ago when an auto dealer did not have the car you wanted on the lot, it was like an act of congress for him to “hook you up” with this car of your desires. He would have to present himself to you as in the know, a real mover and a shaker to get the job done. And in turn we always used this same dealer because, well, they grew on us, kind of the same way of the neighborhood cat lady. But these days, I can just point and click an automobile on line and God only knows where my car is coming from; but I can pick it up in a day or so, from a dealer who is going to try to sell me all kinds of things I don’t need.
Looking back at all of my auto dealership experiences, it sure seems like it has been a real competitive sport, not between the dealers, but between the dealer, the salesman, and Joe Public. I do look forward to the point and click from start to finish option of purchasing an automobile