Car dealerships were facing profit pressures before social distancing restrictions forced them to adapt the way cars were sold and serviced1. This included robust hygiene measures onsite, contactless home delivery for a service or test drive and adding sanitation cleaning to the service schedule.
Chris Dinsdale, Managing Director, Subaru Australia, says “the crisis has forced us to reconsider how we engage with customers,” and believes investing in digital will help dealers reduce ‘fatigue’ in the car buying process.
“Some customers would rather have fewer physical touchpoints. For example, they can check their repayments through our online quoting system before a test drive, and then we have all the information to pre-populate their forms,” he explains.
Car deals may no longer involve lengthy face-to-face negotiations. And this may mean challenging traditional roles and remuneration structures to facilitate an ideal customer experience. Macquarie equity analysts found the propensity for US car buyers to buy online nearly doubled to 61 per cent as a result of COVID-19, and car use is now experiencing a ‘V-shaped recovery’ thanks to public transport avoidance2.