Motoinsight, the innovative company behind one of the world’s leading digital retailing platforms, has just brought Alex Lvovich into the fold. As their newest team member, Lvovich brings decades of industry experience to the table, most recently including his tenure as managing director for Volvo Car Canada and deputy CFO for Volvo Car USA.
Coming from an automaker that has already embraced a digitally enhanced purchase experience through the Care by Volvo program and through their EV brand, Polestar, Lvovich has seen the transformative power of digital retailing in the automotive space. Now, he’s about to get a much closer look at the mechanism that’s shaping our industry.
Lvovich started his career with Ford Motor Company in the 1990s, but spent the better part of his tenure in the industry as a business and finance executive with Volvo, providing strategic vision and guidance to a company in transition.
He has been a part of the transition within the Swedish automaker’s North American headquarters, from an old-fashioned infrastructure to an open and eager company, ready for the future. Notably, Volvo has pioneered the subscription-based ‘Care by Volo’ program, which transcends the traditional lease paradigm.
As well, Volvo’s EV brand, Polestar, made an impact not only with their intriguing range of high performance electric cars, but with their commitment to a centralized omni-channel retailing process engineered by Motoinsight.
“Like Amazon did for consumer goods, MotoCommerce made the whole automotive purchase intuitive and brought the industry in line with the modern tools you see everywhere today. That’s why the company was so appealing to me,” says Lvovich. “This represents the future of the automotive industry, and it’s a future I think we should all be excited about.”
Until recently, though, there were some reservations among dealers and OEMs alike when confronted by the digital reality that had already conquered nearly every other industry.
“The switch only really happened in the last 12 to 18 months,” Lvovich tells us. “In my experience dealing with Volvo retailers across North America, I found the most progressive ones were open to online retailing while the rest were waiting on the sidelines for broader adoption in the industry. But within the last 12 months -- especially with the changes driven by COVID-19 crisis -- our partners really started to see the light.
“Since then, the perception of digital retailing has changed: it’s no longer something futuristic and aspirational, it’s something we see and use every day. It’s a basic requirement of dealership operations.”
Lvovich sees this change in attitudes as more than just a pragmatic operational adjustment. To him, it’s a complete paradigm shift that represents a more productive alignment of dealers and automakers.
“The need to react to pandemic and find new ways to meet customer demands, brought OEMs and retailers closer together, it built this new kind of comradery, and it took down a lot of the barriers that built up over generations. It really lets them look at the big picture, and focus on the solutions that work for everyone.”
It’s not just the dealers and automakers who have begun finding digital solutions that make everyone’s life easier. Proponents of digital retailing have long argued that what’s best for the consumer (a flexible, omni-channel approach that allows for the consumer to combine the physical and online purchase into their preferred customer journey) is also best for the dealer.
Dealers haven’t always seen it the same way, though. Even after brands like Genesis began selling cars online, dealers remained wary of a major change that appeared to threaten the traditional methods of their trade.
Alex has seen this hesitance first hand, and believes dealers have realized the truth about digital retailing.
“Dealers are concerned with how to protect the margins and command good premiums. I think that the dealer perception of online tools has changed over the last two years. It’s no longer a threat, but the solution. They’ve realized that they can accomplish their goals, not by selling on price, but by selling on the quality of the customer experience.”
This transition is something Lvovich saw in an early stage at Volvo, where he aided in driving major growth over the last six years. He says he sees a similar trajectory at Motoinsight, one driven by a similarly energetic culture of youthful enthusiasm and solutions that are unrestricted by the confines of traditionalist thinking.
“When I was at Volvo, I was able to touch so many areas of the business and drive so much positive change because we built a flatter, more open and dynamic business structure,” says Lvovich. “That was my favourite part about working there; not just the chance to move up through the ranks, but the opportunity to engage in the growth of a company from many angles.”
As the new chief strategy officer of Motoinsight, Lvovich has high expectations not only for the company, but for their impact on the industry.
“MotoCommerce has huge ambitions with massive significance for the industry,” says Lvovich. “There’s a real sense here at Motoinsight that everyone is excited about the future. I can’t wait to bring my expertise to Motoinsight, and help guide that enthusiasm so that they continue shaping the automotive industry for the better."