Automotive Industry New Trends

auto industry trends

"Change is inevitable. Change is constant." said a British Prime Minister (Benjamin Disraeli) decades ago. What is probably not captured in this quote is that even the speed of change seems to be increasing with time. The world of buying and selling cars is going through a rapid transformation and car dealers that cannot keep up with the new times are shutting down their businesses. In this article, we touch on a few of the recent changes and trends in the auto industry.

Internet has arguably the biggest impact on auto industry. Buyers are more informed. When they come to car dealers, most of them already know the exact model they want and the right price for it. Savvy buyers even go on Internet, compare prices from a few dealers and make them compete to get the best price and make the deal over the phone. This cuts from the profit margins of car dealers. On the other hand, Internet has brought about some good changes for dealers as well. Marketing channels (and therefore sales numbers) have increased dramatically with the advent of car sales websites like autotrader.com, cars.com, craigslist.com. Marketing and advertising is less expensive then it used to be on the Internet.

Car manufacturers are also affected of this changing environment. The big three American car manufacturers (General Motors, Ford and Chrysler) are losing ground to foreign competition as time goes by. In the 60's they used to command about 90% of the sales in U.S. and nowadays it's a very different picture.

General Motors filed for bankruptcy in 2009 and managed to recover in the same year by selling a few of their brands to the Chinese manufacturers and discontinuing a few others. There were significant changes in the management team in December 2009 but the future seems unclear. Chrysler has filed for bankruptcy in 2009 as well. Some parts of the company were sold to a new corporation co-owned by Fiat. Their dealership contracts were dropped. Ford probably endured the new age best among the three. In late 2006 they hired a new CEO, Alan Mulally, and he steered the company wisely through the economic downturn. Ford posted $2.7 billion in profit in 2009 and $1.9 billion for their finance division. It is not a coincidence; you can see that Ford is different from the rest by the fact that they have embraced social media marketing especially in 2009. Youtube marketing programs were part of these efforts.

Detroit has been under constant pressure from foreign manufacturers. Toyota finally beat GM in sales in 2008 after being the biggest for 77 consecutive years. Before that, Toyota had surpassed Ford in 2007 and put them in the number three spot, after being number 2 for 56 years. That is not to say Toyota is doing great, though. Latest recalls have been tough on company finances. Company CEO will testify in court about their recalls since they are becoming a safety concern for U.S. government.

Carsinia helps dealers cope with the new times by embracing the technological advancements. Carsinia dealer software solution itself is based on Internet. It is possible to keep track of your marketing efforts for all channels in Carsinia, whether virtual or brick-and-mortar. Car manufacturers focus on process optimization to cut costs in this economic downturn. Dealers can do the same with Carsinia. The way to do this is to ask the right questions about your business. You can use Carsinia to answer business intelligence questions and improve your business processes.

Contact us for more information and demonstration.

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