As a 22 year old who loves driving (and cars in general), I feel very lucky to have been able to buy myself a new car at the start of 2023. I have a general feeling that those in my age group are either desperate to learn how to drive or have passed their test already. There is a feeling of “growing up” and gaining independence when a young adult gets their license and first car and even though it is often used for work/school/university commuting, there is a usually huge amount of social driving too.
The automotive industry must ensure that this new wave of young drivers is taken into consideration and catered for when it comes to selling cars. A study from the EY Mobility Consumer Index shows that almost half (40%) of #genz car buyers would buy online if given the choice. As with the growing majority of any product being sold, consumers at least want to be given the option to buy online.
Certain aspects of car buying, such as a test drive, require a face-to-face interaction with a dealership. However, speaking from recent experience, you can find out more than ever before about the car options available to you online. Equip yourself with an internet connection and 30 minutes of time and you can find out all the specification points of a car, the general user review consensus, and what alternatives are available to you. I had personally spent a few hours of my time watching videos on YouTube of my car before buying it. I was able to very easily find hundreds of review videos that take the viewer through the interior, exterior, pros, cons, driving experience and more.
Gen Z are so heavily reliant on social media and digital platforms that dealerships may have all but sold a car before even hearing from a customer. Younger car buyers will likely feel confident enough to buy a car online, potentially without ever seeing or driving it. Because of this, dealerships must prepare themselves to make that a possibility – otherwise, their competitors that do adapt will gain a HUGE advantage in one of the biggest transitional periods the industry has seen to date.
Looking at these through #LocalMarketing eyes, it is likely that a big change in how dealerships exist and operate is needed. While it is mostly Gen Z looking at car buying in this new way in 2023, it could be the new customer expectation in 10 or so years. The traditional role of a salesman, of a test drive, of a showroom, could be much different. Imagine a world where you research and make your car purchase decision from home and get it manufactured and delivered to your door without you ever seeing it or even another human being in the transaction. If you aren’t happy, you can send it back for a full refund! Potentially some very interesting times ahead…
If you work within automotive, be it a retailer or at brand level, we’d love to understand your view and talk to you about the future of auto retailing. Why not schedule a FREE 30-minute assessment today here? It will be well worth your time.
Or alternatively read more about Local Marketing on our blog page "Local Thinking': https://www.weareacuity.com/local-thinking-our-blog