Commentary

How Technology Helps/Hurts The Automotive Industry

Ian Beavis, Chief Strategy Officer, AMCI Global, and Amber Quist, CMO, Silvercar by Audi, were in agreement on most product innovation and consumer education topics that came up at MediaPost's Marketing:Automotive conference.

”Affordability is a problem now,” said Beaver, “driven a lot by technology. And there is very little online that truly helps you understand the value of safety systems. If you don’t know the true value of what is in that car, the dealer is in trouble. The industry needs to change that situation to get people to physically experience the car, to be excited about the opportunities of technology.”

Dealerships, said Quist, “are becoming more like product experts. Buyers are 80% informed before they enter a dealership. Sales people look different than they used to. But we have to ask if we’re developing technology for technology’s sake. Customers only care when you solve a need that exists.” 

Take lane-departure warning. “If a person is not shown what lane departure is doing, they’ll probably turn it off,” said Beavis. “Backup cameras, same thing. Until they actually experience one and then they’ll never go back.” 

“We’re looking at a new landscape,” Quist said. “All OEMs have this challenge before them. Silvercar allows people the flexibility to change models but some are using it to bridge between leases, others to test drive before a purchase.” 

As far as game changers go, Beavis said 5G will do it for the auto industry. “Tesla’s got a jump on everyone. 5G is an opportunity for OEMs to have direct connection with customers. It will help with loyalty. Silvercar is brilliant in enhancing loyalty for Audi. So much is electronic, and recalls will be electronically done. Just download, change software, done overnight. It’s going to be wonderful for customer experience.”

“Tesla operates as a software company, essentially,” added Quist.

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