Auto Dealers in the Age of Automation

by Sri Kamma

Nearly one-fourth of all miles driven by 2030 could be in shared autonomous vehicles. As one Boston Consulting Group study found, the forces of ride-hailing companies, vehicle electrification, and autonomous driving technology will contribute to the annual replacement of 5 million conventional cars in the future.

Another significant dynamic explored by the Wall Street Journal last week is the significant investment and shift in strategy that many top automakers are undergoing to prepare for the new era. Many are restructuring their businesses and making investments in new technologies. Auto giants like General Motors, Ford, and Toyota are investing in startups, purchasing firms that specialize in AI or robotics, and hiring new talent.

“Several car companies have acquired or invested in makers of lidar, laser-based sensors that help driverless cars navigate. The automakers are tapping the tech world for software-engineering talent, a skill traditionally in short supply in the car business,” the Wall Street Journal explained.

These trends have immense implications for auto dealers downstream. If auto dealers shift focus from production of mass quantities of individual vehicles toward a more limited and homogenous quantity of autonomous vehicles, auto dealers will likely lose business. According to Dr. Tony Hughes of Moody analytics, the biggest threat is not from decreased sales volumes. Rather, the biggest threat is vehicle homogenization: production will shift toward vehicles that are simple and fit the needs of the highest proportion of riders at the lowest cost.

“Rather than declining sales volumes, as many pessimists have predicted, the biggest threat seems instead to be increased vehicle homogenization. This holds the potential to radically affect the profitability of new vehicle manufacturing and the viability of the used car industry in general,” Hughes explained.

What do these trends mean for auto dealers? The new developments indicate how much more difficult it will be in the next ten years to attract customers. Fewer people will be purchasing new cars by walking into dealerships, and manufacturers will not be producing as many unique models. For this reason, the number of people in the market for cars will decrease and your efforts to find those people will need to become more accurately targeted.

Given the shift toward online purchasing and engagement, dealers must be social media savvy. However, there is a major barrier. For dealers to connect with prospective customers, they would need a tool to scroll through millions of posts, find people with an intent to purchase their product, and find a way to connect with them. That work cannot be done manually, even if your team has a small army of social media managers.

Enter FunnelAI. Since I’m a car enthusiast and a brand ambassador in local car clubs and expertise in artificial intelligence, I decided to create a tool to make the process easier. Our company empowers auto dealers with artificial intelligence which helps connect them to prospective customers. We ensure that auto dealers can sell more cars, provide excellent servicing options to customers, and become a part of the car enthusiast community.

FunnelAI leverages AI to read millions of public posts from over 500 forums and other social data sources, and can connect auto dealers with prospective customers in real-time.

Unlike traditional lead generation processes, including social media ads, TrueCar, Edmunds and other sources, FunnelAI can connect directly with the prospective customer. FunnelAI helps Auto dealers to close more sales quicker and keep building a lasting relationship with the customer.

In an age of immense disruption, allow FunnelAI to help your dealership succeed in connecting to customers with the intent to purchase in real time. We can help your salespeople discover the joy of their own car, even in an age of automation.

Learn more about FunnelAI for Auto Dealers.