It is no surprise that automotive dealers are being bombarded with vendors creating new products (solutions) all of the time. In some ways automotive retailers are feeling like they are being hurt and their profits are being taken over. I was at an Acura dealership the other day when the owner mentioned that cars.com sent a 30 day noticed explaining a price increase. He was complaining about it and his words were "there is no reason to be a dealer anymore when all you have to do is start a software company". Does this sound familiar?
The reality is that no one can stop an entrepreneur from taking a dream and turning it into reality. The other reality is that even in the competitive market there needs to be a solution to fit different needs of automotive dealers. I think that some vendors need to consider looking at creating quality inexpensive solutions for independent dealerships with low budgets as well. It seems as all of these technology customers are chasing the same business and competition has become fierce. While I believe that competition is a beautiful thing I often wonder what dealers reactions are when they get solicited more then five times in a single day.
The bottom line is that companies will be popping up and offering solutions. There will be companies that dominate and others that fail. There will also be mergers and acquisitions in the industry where companies will grow drastically. However, the automotive retailing business does not need to lose profits. The fact is that dealers need to set a budget and work that budget. Some vendors will make price increases and if the price increase does not justify the ROI then there are solutions to cut tie and move to their competitor. This happens with website and CRM companies sometimes. My point is that dealers need to find ways to make the technology work so that they can maximize opportunity and create a better experience for the customer. Also, stop looking for the silver bullet or the shiny object because in reality the shiny object is all in the performance of management and your people.
I welcome thoughts and comments. Thank you.