Will New Car Stores always exist?

Sam Salem

I mean people will always want new cars, and I guess I can't assume EVERYONE will be comfortable buying a car without having the tangibility of the whole situation. 

That being said won't overhead eventually destroy, or at least greatly alter, the  "New Car Store" as we know it today? Also, is it too late for new car stores to get "hip with the internet" and guide their consumer's towards a more online experience? I  mean new cars & the internet sound about as good as combo as can be. Caravans''s essentially doing it without the pleasure of having their business dictated by a manufacturer (that is, they sell "used"  essentially brand new cars). 

So unless I'm mistaken unless new car stores have two choices:

1)Cut that overhead in half; Essentially diminishing the franchise image, the intended point.

2) Cut out the middle man and get to selling on the internet.
 

Bart Wilson

Interesting question Sam.  I see them evolving to be a smaller, more experiential location.

Keep in mind that customers still want to experience a vehicle before purchase.  Also, service will still need to be completed.

David R Bell's book Location is (Still) Everything makes a case for brick and mortar locations.  Look at Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods as an example.

Derrick Woolfson

If anything, I think OEM's will look to consolidate one off's, encouraging larger dealer groups. And I agree w/ Bart, I do not think physical stores will go away soon, if at all. Hence why I think stores like Carvana (though pre-owned) are struggling to make a profit. They took out the most *crucial* element of the process; the human interaction - people still want to deal with sales consultants. The way in which they deal with them, however, has absolutely changed/evolved. 

Joe Henry

I hope I am not the only one older than dirt that reads this. Does anyone remember the "Tulsa Experiment" ? Ford bought all the Ford Lincoln Mercury dealerships in Tulsa in the 1980s to sell direct. Sales, service, market share plummeted at those stores and all the other franchise dealers in Tulsa swooped in and harpooned the big white whale's customers.

So Tulsa was the 1st kick by the mule. So a second would not be an education …….   

Bart Wilson

Joe, I remember it well.  In fact, I was part of the Utah Auto Collection.  Ford experimented in Tulsa, Salt Lake City, and Rochester (not sure on that one).  It was a mess.

R. J. James

Joe, You are not the only one who had a dinosaur for pet that reads and comments here :))

Over the years, I have watched several business segments get disrupted and evolve.  So, I sort of agree with Bart that dealerships will be evolve; but I don't think their  they will get smaller.  My projection is that there will be few dealerships and those will have adopted a more aggressive digital transaction (Carvana like) effort to expand their market reach.

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