What Changes Can the Automotive Industry Expect from 2017
Why you care about my 2017 Industry Predictions
Everyone is making their predictions for the Auto Industry in 2017 and really people like to blanket things so they can go back and say “I told ya so”. Heck, Gary Vaynerchuk made predictions about nearly every social media platform being great and when a few panned out…zoinks…he was right!
Instead of giving you a million predictions I’m going to focus on a few that actually matter. I’m going to share THREE AUTO INDUSTRY PREDICTIONS that WILL come to light and can make a massive difference in the income of just about every single dealer in the United States.
The reason you will care is because of my track record of industry predictions coming to light in a massive way. Many of you know that in 2012 I shared two predictions that would change the automotive industry and both came to light. The first was when I started KonigCo and launched AutoCapture, later changed to iCall AutoLeads. While everyone in the country was focused on using text messaging as a tool to create marketing lists I said: “Automotive dealerships are not Starbucks so people don’t want to hear about your specials every day. Using an opt-in group blast model will piss off customers and they’ll unsubscribe PLUS there are going to be compliance issues. October 16, 2013 that prediction proved true when the TCPA Regulations regarding texting and robo-dialing took effect. Learn more on their blog by clicking here. Staying ahead of the curve we created a text for instant discount model that targeted shoppers who were in the market immediately and helped many dealers increase their sales by millions of dollars each year.
The next prediction I made was back in 2013 related to video. While most people were creating commercial content, I predicted that content that was personal, specific to the vehicle, would index above the fold in Google and better yet if the competition was discussed it would show up their searches as well organically. In 2013 we rolled out iCarVideo and within the first month small town dealerships were seeing upwards of 1200 unique local video views each month. In 2014 I predicted this would not last and explained that YouTube was for video so Google would kill video in the Organic search results of Google. While everyone else was trying to sell costly Video SEO packages at auto industry events we were telling dealers that they would NOT show up in Google with Video and that they would need to focus on YouTube with their video efforts. Today, you rarely see a video in a google SERP.
Your 2017 Auto Industry Predictions Revealed
Auto Industry Prediction #1: Spanish will be the largest growth area
While many auto industry experts are talking about automotive technology I want to say that technology and special offers will rule the day I say bullshit.
Those are easy things to sell people on because they’re quick fixes and items that people don’t readily understand. If I start spewing jargon about geo fencing, geolocation, ad targeting, CPM, and special algorithms you’ll roll your eyes and say: “sounds legit” because you don’t have the time to learn about all of that. You’ll throw thousands at it, someone will show you a pile of numbers to ‘prove’ that it worked and you’ll keep pissing away cash or you won’t and then you move on.
What you CAN measure is human interaction. What is FACT about the United States is that the Hispanic Population is growing faster than any other demographic. According to Univision 100% of the U.S. population growth in the next decade will come from Hispanics.
Leading companies from Coca-Cola, to General Mills, to McDonald’s, to Chrysler, have recognized that 100% of the U.S. population growth in the next 10 years will come from Hispanics. As a result, they are implementing a Total Market Strategy by integrating Hispanic into every step of the business planning process in order to fully take advantage of the Hispanic growth opportunity. – Univision Total Market Strategy
Knowing that the populations growth for the next 10 years will be from Hispanics it makes sense that there would be opportunity all dealers in the auto industry to focus a much larger part of their budget toward reaching Hispanic Car Buyers. The obvious investment idea is having your own website and there is only one company that does Spanish websites properly: BDA Spanish I know this because more than 3 years ago I began this project with Buscador de Auto which is the only Spanish Auto Industry Classified site in the country in true Spanish. No matter what happens in the automotive industry as it relates to technology, the end focus is always people so having 100% growth from people is an obvious area of growth if you’re smart enough to go after it.
Auto Industry Prediction #2: Bye Bye Sales Pros
This is a sore spot in the auto industry for many reasons but I shared this prediction about two years ago. With many dealerships nationwide reducing or removing their training budgets altogether, the day of the sales professional is dying.
Note: I’m not encouraging dealers to move to the Best Buy blue shirt advisor model. I am however saying that the lack of sales training, lack of leadership training, and focus on technology over humanity has really caused a large drop off in the level of professional commissioned sales people.
Not all stores will move to this model but here is what I predict will actually happen in the automotive industry as it relates to sales people.
- Stores with strong leadership and solid training programs will be the minority. These stores with actual professionals that are commissioned will hang on for about another 3-5 years, however, the whores who are giving away vehicles and hiring sales people for $10 per hour will decimate profit margins for everyone. This will cause a snowball effect over the next 3-5 years that will ultimately end with retail automotive stores creating retail pay plans similar to malls and retail shops that have $30k sales people, $60k managers and $90k gms.
- Here’s the rub, this model will actually lead to better consumer experience (after it becomes the majority of stores) because it will remove the pressure of gross holding as more stores will move to a common pricing that keeps people shopping local.
- Here’s something critical to say: The Auto Industry could keep strong, commissioned sales professionals if they would invest in training and create their current staff like professionals. If you want to hold profit, create consumer and staff loyalty, change now before the industry forces you to do so.
Final Auto Industry Prediction for 2017: Most Dealers won’t Change a Thing for 2017
Yes, I said it and if that hurts your feelings, or pisses you off that is the intended result. For some reason over the last 5 years I have watched dealer after dealer trade common sense for technology investment in the hope of a quick fix.
There are no quick fixes for the Auto Industry in 2017
You cannot buy an app, specials program, geo-locating system, CRM, DMS, LMS or any other combination of letters that will fix things for you without putting in the work it takes to make it work.
YOU HAVE TO DO THE WORK FOR THINGS TO WORK SO NOW IS THE TIME TO GO TO WORK!
Focus on people over programs. Focus on people over promos. Focus on people above all and 2017 will be your absolute best year ever!
Need someone to come in and pick apart your store to help you get on the right track? Contact me today. It will be the BEST investment you make for 2017!