TalkAUTO 2019 Covers Top Trends

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8th annual conference attracts hundreds of dealers and industry leaders.

The 2019 TalkAUTO conference took place on Nov. 6th in Vaughan, Ontario. The program, hosted by J.D. Power and Canadian Black Book, focused on data, artificial intelligence, connectivity and other trends that are reshaping the automotive landscape here in Canada, and around the globe.

After a brief welcome and introduction by Canadian Black Book President, Brad Rome, Jeff Schuster, President of Americas Operations and Global Vehicle Forecasts for LMC Automotive offered an overview of the Canadian automotive market.

Schuster said that global economic growth is cooling, with some countries doing better and others doing worse. He warned that Canada is likely to see another year of declining automotive sales.

He also predicted that we’re likely to see a recession, but not until 2021.

EVs & autonomous vehicles

Kristin Kolodge, Executive Director of Driver Interaction and HMI for J.D. Power talked about some of the challenges facing the industry with respect to electric vehicles and self-driving cars.

She explained that carmakers and dealers need to focus on how electric vehicles will benefit consumers personally. Kolodge added that it’s important to stress the benefits of EVs, rather than trying to minimize what EVs are not so good at. “We need to help consumers see what’s in it for them,” she stressed.

As far as self-driving vehicles are concerned, Kolodge explained that consumers are more comfortable with goods being transported in self-driving vehicles compared to riding in one themselves. Surprisingly, nearly half of Canadian consumers said they would likely purchase or lease a self driving car.

Brian Murphy, Vice President – Research and Analytics for Canadian Black Book offered an overview of the new and used vehicles market. New vehicles sales are down, he admitted, but we need to keep things in perspective. We won’t exceed 2017 saes figures, but we are still ahead of 2010 to 2015, he added.

Used vehicle sales are doing well. We’re up 12% this year, and up 66% over the last four years.

Data ownership

Tim Reuss, President and CEO of CADA explained that auto retailing in 2030 will look nothing like it does today. Car dealers will still be around, he said, but they will need to evolve. 

Connected vehicles, which are already here, will impact revenue streams, he explained, warning that existing revenue streams are changing. For example, over-the-air software updates, direct from the manufacturer, will reduce service revenue for dealers.

On the other hand, new revenue streams are being created. For example, in the future, vehicle sensor data could be sold to third parties like weather forecasters. 

As far as monetizing this data goes, Reuss asked dealers a number of thought provoking questions: Who owns your DMS data? Are you able to access that data or do you have to pay your DMS provider? Is your OEM proposing data sharing? Data that they can then repackage and sell?

Before these new opportunities come to fruition, dealers need to make sure they’ll be ready to take advantage of them—and that’s something they need to look at now. At the very least, dealers need to have in place agreements that spell out who owns what and how the profits will be shared when data becomes monetized.

Look for a full report in a future issue of Canadian AutoJournal.

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Categories : Dealerships


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