“Dealers in South Africa will have an important role to play in automotive retail for many years to come.”

This was one of the results of a very informative webinar and panel discussion on “The Evolution of the Automotive Retail Sector, the Future Role of Dealerships and the Transition to Retail digital retail”, held recently.

You can follow these discussions online at Let’s Talk Business.

Mark Dommisse, president of the National Automobile Dealer Association (NADA), said car dealerships are an integral part of responsible consumerism, whereby they look after consumers’ interests in a complex buying process.

He admitted that the digital world was playing a key role in providing potential buyers with time-saving ways to research the vehicles they wanted to buy, to check the dealerships offering their choice of vehicle, as well as finance and purchase options. ‘assurance.

Then, according to Dommisse, the majority of buyers still like to visit a dealership to see the vehicle in the metal and to discuss optional equipment and accessories as well as check out financing and insurance offers in person. “While there is a lot of noise around the rise of digital retailing in the automotive sector, this is not reflected in dealer data.

The human interface is always particularly important for a potential buyer, especially in the area of ​​expensive and technologically complex new models and first-time buyers,” explained Dommisse. The NADA Chairman said he had tried buying cars online in various market segments and the results were most disappointing in terms of the reach of digital transaction platforms and left too many questions unanswered .

He added that dealerships were also important as facilities to have a vehicle serviced according to the manufacturer’s requirements.

A poll of those watching this webinar produced 87% of them agreeing that car dealerships will continue for the foreseeable future, while 34% of delegates said they are unlikely to buy a car alone. online in the future, with 49% saying they would consider a virtual purchase in the future.

George Mienie, CEO of Auto Trader, said the fact that there are now 38 million people in South Africa with internet access highlights the importance of online trading, with 25 million of those people being on platforms of social media that offer a variety of avenues. to reach these people with advertising or promotional messages.

He said many companies, including car dealerships, sent the same message to multiple social media platforms instead of tailoring them to different target audiences. Mienie added that, in general, consumers reacted quickly to exploitation in a digital world, while businesses were slower to react.

He highlighted the difference between brand building and online retail and said too few companies are using these channels for brand building, instead of just focusing on selling.

Mienie added that Auto Dealer research showed that 80% of people who needed financing to buy a vehicle did not want to go through this process in front of someone at a dealership, preferring instead to check their credit online in private. .

Henry Botha, Head of Strategy and Business Analytics for Absa Secured Loans – Vehicle Finance and Home Loans, gave an interesting presentation on the growing sophistication and persistence of fraudsters in South Africa and how through which dealers can defend themselves against them.

He said the threat of fraud should be a priority for dealers and private sellers as digital commerce grows, and financial services institutions have much to offer businesses and consumers to create a more safe.

Regarding the outlook, Thami Letsoala, Absa’s business development director for the automotive sector, said that the domestic vehicle sales and financing market is expected to recover by 2023 and achieve growth. double digits as the economy improves.

For more information on Automechanika Johannesburg 2022 or to book your free visitor pass, please visit our website www.automechanikasa.co.za

Source: Quick Pic

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