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Industry Snapshot: Automotive Industry Challenges in 2019

In the first six months of this year, we’ve seen the automotive industry face a number of challenges. 2018 was a difficult year for the global automotive industry, with sales falling for the first time since 2009. Much of this is down to trade tensions between the world’s biggest economies, political changes and new threats.

While the global picture might be undergoing significant changes, so are the day to day operations of car dealers, with much of it coming down to technology. Whether that’s the updated technology now found in cars or the expectations tech has brought for consumers, car dealerships are now having to update their processes, sales techniques and customer experience to keep revenue growth on the up.

These are some of the biggest challenges dealers are facing in 2019.

1.Increasing their online presence
Reportedly, this is the top issue many car dealers will face in the next three to five years.

While work needs to start with getting your website up to scratch and ensuring your onsite content caters to the needs of your consumers, enhancing your online presence means using the right techniques to engage with your audience and help them on their path to purchase. That includes understanding the best approach for retargeting, how to target ads to a local audience and when to use the right technology to connect with users on mobile devices while on the go.

2.Selling to millennials
According to recent data from PWC, the number of cars purchased by millennials between 2007 and 2011 fell by 30% and continues to drop.

Put simply, millennials are buying less cars and are showing less and less interest in the market. For car dealerships to meet the needs of this audience, it’s crucial to connect with them where they spend their time online. That means targeting them on social networks and engaging with them on their smartphones; after all they check them 43 times a day on average.

3.Providing a seamless customer experience
For car dealers, it was once all about the experience you provided your customer when they stepped into your showroom.

Now the customer experience has to be consistent and provide seamless continuity across all touchpoints, online and offline. We’re now in a situation where service surpasses product, so those car dealerships that are serious about Customer Experience (CX) in all their interactions with customers from the showroom floor, to their website and communications are winning.

4.Maximising and driving ROI from all channels
If car dealers are investing time and money in multiple marketing channels and activity then each needs to drive as much ROI as possible to ensure future investment.

When advertising stock on Autotrader for example, it’s key to make the most of this activity and enhance the productivity of any existing Autotrader.com listings where possible. With the Fluid Ads you now have the opportunity to connect your existing Autotrader listings seamlessly to your display ads to engage potential customers online and outside Autotrader.com. Serve them with ads or retarget them with up-to-date product information and deals so you can double the efficiency and productivity of your Autotrader listings.

5.Growing sales of electric vehicles
The diesel emissions scandal which first began in 2015, has rocked the automotive industry in Europe. This has led to bans on outdated diesel vehicles in cities across Germany, including Munich, Stuttgart, Leipzig, Hamburg and Bonn. Whilst there have been protests in Southern Germany’s Automotive capital of Stuttgart against the ban, it brings into focus the need for electric vehicles.

For car dealers, the question of how to grow sales of electric vehicles is a particular challenge. UK consumers, for example, are becoming increasingly concerned about buying diesel. However, they don’t yet view electric vehicles as a viable alternative, more down to a lack of knowledge about the available options rather than the environmental benefits. This uncertainty is thought to be causing them to delay their next car purchase until the electric vehicle market becomes more robust – this lack of purchase decisions is having a knock-on effect for dealers.

6.Illustrating the benefits of the connected car
A connected car has its own connection to the internet, usually via a wireless local area network (WLAN), enabling the car to share internet access and data with other devices inside and outside the car.

This ensures connecting cars can do a number of tasks that include:

In some instances, connected cars can even park themselves for you via an app.

With the advent of the connected car, comes a key challenge for car dealers. How to ensure that your salespeople have the vital knowledge to sell the benefits of connected cars. Where once the latest updates such as heated seats and sat nav were tangible and could be seen, touched and experienced by consumers, the newest advances in technology are harder to explain in the showroom and not as easy for consumers to experience. Salespeople are required to up their game when it comes to their expertise of technology.

Final thoughts

Whether through new technology in the vehicles themselves or due to the technology required to provide a seamless customer experience, the automotive industry is changing. Car dealers that can evolve and provide agile online and offline solutions for their consumers will continue to win and get ahead of the competition.

At Fluid Ads, we can help you understand your audience, advertise to the right customers with the best possible ads and ensure all your advertising channels are efficient and high-performing. Contact us today or book a demo to learn how we can revolutionise your digital advertising.

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