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Steve Greenfield is a seasoned automotive industry expert with over 20 years of experience, is the CEO and Founder of Automotive Ventures, and the author of the book “The Future of Automotive Retail.” With a strong background in mergers, acquisitions, strategy, and fundraising, Steve has established himself as an authoritative voice in automotive technology and innovation. As the author of the widely circulated monthly Auto Intel Report, host of The Daily Download, creator of AutoTech’s Got Talent, and a respected news media analyst, Steve remains at the forefront of the automotive technology landscape. His insights and analysis are highly sought-after, making him a regular feature in news media outlets, social media channels, and conferences nationwide.

What we discuss in the episode:

In this episode live from NADA in Dallas we delved deep into the shifting landscape of the automotive retail industry. David and Greenfield delve into the implications of the EV boom on the automotive industry. We touch on how the shift to electric vehicles could potentially change the way franchise agreements are structured, as well as the challenges that dealers face in committing to facility upgrades for EVs. Dealers are now grappling with the need to invest in expensive facility improvements while also being asked to commit to new technology products that may reduce the need for large showrooms.

Greenfield points out that with the surge in EV production, there could be an oversupply of models that may not be readily absorbed by fleet operators such as Hertz. This could lead to a resurgence of incentives to attract dealers and consumers to take on these “turds that nobody wants.” Greenfield also highlighted Tesla’s recent price slashes as a possible response to increasing competition from automakers like Ford and GM, who are making strides in the EV market.

The conversation also touched on the growing concern among dealers about the agency model, external disruption, and the used car market. Greenfield mentioned how some automakers, like Ford, are requiring dealers to choose between committing to EV-related facility upgrades or only being allowed to sell ICE vehicles in the future. This decision puts dealers in a difficult position, as they must anticipate future market trends and make significant investments accordingly.

Emerging Technology Trends

Another key points discussed was the importance of dealers taking the time to evaluate the various themes that are emerging in the industry, such as over-the-air updates, subscription services, electrification, agency models, and connected cars. Greenfield suggested that dealers should engage in discussions with their management teams and map out the probability and consequence of each trend, ultimately focusing on the ones that are most likely to impact their businesses.

Maintain Proactive Communication

Greenfield also touched on the importance of dealers having proactive conversations with their OEMs regarding revenue sharing when it comes to subscription services. As consumers increasingly opt for post-purchase activation of features such as heated seats or additional horsepower, dealers need to ensure they are not left out of the revenue loop.

Greenfield shared his insights on what he believes are the most important actions that dealers should take in light of these changes. He emphasized the importance of understanding and adapting to the various profit and loss models that exist within a dealership, as the dynamics of each department are shifting rapidly with the rise of EVs and other industry changes.

The episode highlighted the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for automotive retailers in a world increasingly dominated by electric vehicles and changing consumer expectations. As the landscape continues to evolve, it will be crucial for dealers to adapt and stay informed in order to remain competitive and successful in the long run.

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