Happy New Year to everybody at Driving Sales and to all the people in the Automotive community. It's been a truly rough ride in 2008 and 2009 looks to be an even tougher road ahead..
While there is plenty to look back on from 2008, I'd like to paint a virtual road map where our industry is likely headed in a vastly altered landscape. So much has transpired in the last 4 months, it's very difficult to quantify what the net results will look like by the end of 2009.
Here is my attempt to predict the future. Wish me luck. I promise to be around at year end to keep score.
- The Domestics are going to be held accountable by the Fed Government in almost every practice. With the right oversight and quality control, their forced modernization will actually benefit the industry and hopefully level the playing field on the labor side of the equation.
- One of the "Big Three" will be no more. I'll leave that to the bright minds reading this blog to decide whom it will be.
- The net effect of this "Nationalized Domestic Car Business" should bring about wholesale changes in the way the industry markets their products.
- With the continued decline of the Newspapers and the printed content empires of the past, Digital Media should emerge as the logical solution for both OEM's and Franchise Dealers. (FINGERS CROSSED)
- The new HYUNDAI ASSURANCE Program is the first move by an OEM indicating they must find a way to bring purchase confidence back. Expect many similar OEM strategies/campaigns to follow.
- There will be MASSIVE DEALERSHIP POINT DELEVERAGING in Major Markets. In the last 7 years the good Ole USA over-expanded itself in every possible way. Is it really conceivable there are enough Ford buyers in LA to encompass 25+ Ford Dealers?
- The 'New Car Lead Model" of the past 11 years will DIE replaced by NEW CAR VIN LEADS indigenous to Dealer Microsite Inventories.
- 50% of the old model "New Car Lead Companies" (I won't mention names)will be gone by September.
- Credit will stay tight across all Brands as banks remain stingy in their lending practices buoyed by the over-extended American consumer.
- Dealers will finally understand IMPRESSIONS-CPM-SEO- and finally attribute ROI to my newly coined term "DIGITAL UPS"
- The Wholesale Business will be turned upside down as Values become updated weekly and reflect ACV accurately.
- REPUTATION MANAGEMENT isn't a Buzz word anymore. Dealers will be forced to invest in SEO to stay legit in the eyes of the ever vigilant web shopping public.
- The Service Director and General Manager will be the same person in many dealerships.
- 2 of the Major Auto Retailing Corporations will be no more by October.
- Tier 2 Dealer Associations will be finally held accountable for the way they spend their marketing dollars!
- OEMs and Dealers who continue to invest in modernized platforms will reap rewards even in a very down economy.
- The “Digital Land Grab” marks an opportunity unlike any seen since before the 1950’s. Most of the major Digital Media players are offering vast- geo-targeted-make specific-exclusive territories at bargain basement rates.
- Jay Campbell will blog once a week for the entire year making Confessions of A Digital Car Guy a widely read industry blog!
There you have it.
Feel free to comment on my predictions.
Best of luck to us all as we steer our ships thru rough waters.