Thinking outside the box and adapting is key
These last two years were particularly challenging for the automotive market in Portugal and worldwide. As if the confinements and, in some cases, the complete stoppage of activities were not enough, now the sector must deal with the chip crisis and consequently with the lack of cars.
If, at the beginning of the pandemic there were no Customers for cars, now we are faced with the opposite reality – there are no cars for Customers.
What can we (the automotive sector) learn from the lessons of Nature, economics, and politics?
Digitization was certainly one of these lessons and I would say that it took the least amount of time to implement. The ability to think outside the box and find more or less complex strategies to continue doing business is surely one of the other lessons.
Ideas such as publishing the inventory on your web pages, so that Customers can follow what is available, with the possibility of booking the car immediately, including the production of personalized videos for Customers to visualize the car they are thinking of purchasing, or even a vehicle locator program on the market, with pick-up and delivery service, are some of the best practices that have helped dealership sales all over the world.
Betting on after-sales and diversifying services can be a way for brands and networks to stay afloat, at least while the issue of supplying new cars doesn’t stabilize.
The pandemic, especially after the periods of confinement, brought opportunities for the sector, as it was possible to capitalize on the fact that people favoured the use of private vehicles to the detriment of public transport. On the other hand, for after-sales, more opportunities also opened up, since those who cannot buy a car, will surely have to keep the current one in the best conditions, creating more business for this area.
Basically, these times have taught (or confirmed) that the ability to adapt, flexibility and service adapted to the current needs of the Client are the most important thing in this (and in all) business. And that the faster we adapt, the better we survive and even thrive.