TADA

Trillium Automobile Dealers Association

Serving the interest of Ontario New Car
and Truck Dealerships for over 100 years

Interesting possibilities lie ahead for auto industry

Created on Friday, 22 April 2011

Here are some current topics that are the subject of much discussion among TADA new car dealers. They reflect some of the things that may impact our industry directly or indirectly, in the near future.

  1. Imagine being able to check your vehicle's oil level from your mobile device, or receiving an "alert" message on your PC indicating that your vehicle needs servicing. This technology is close at hand.
    Toyota and Microsoft recently announced a partnership to build a platform for next-generation telematic services. Telematics is the combining of telecommunications and information technologies in vehicles, including GPS systems, energy management and other multimedia technologies.
  2. Say goodbye to gasoline below $1 per litre. Political events, natural disasters and exploding new markets (Asia) will put increasing pressure on world gas prices. Fuel prices will likely keep rising, prompting stronger demand for alternative energy vehicles. Hybrid and electric vehicles represent roughly 2 per cent of the market in Canada, but that figure will grow as gas prices soar.
  3. The used car market will become even more competitive and challenging for dealerships. Used vehicles prices have risen approximately 15 per cent over the past year, and good pre-owned cars will bring premium prices, as inventories remain low. In the past year, the number of off-lease vehicles has dried up, which has created a shortfall of used inventories. The recent recession and the anticipated interruptions of supply of new product from manufactures, coupled with expanding global markets for new cars, will fuel demand for quality pre-owned vehicles.
  4. Public outcry and documented evidence of exorbitant fees charged by tow trucks, unsavory business practices and lack of local by-law enforcement will spur demand for provincial government intervention.
    This largely unregulated industry needs reform.
  5. Vehicle — and identity — theft will increase. Internet scammers will use more sophisticated methods to dupe unsuspecting victims. Curbsiders, too, will continue to stay one step ahead of the law by selling used vehicles that are not what they appear to be by trolling the internet rather than using traditional advertising.
  6. Independent repair shops will find it more difficult to compete with franchised car dealerships. The high cost of continued upgrades for specialized tools, training and diagnostic equipment will force many independent shops to close.
  7. Systemic abuses of the auto insurance system and auto insurance fraud (including staged accidents and fictitious claims) will increase the financial burdens on motorists through increased insurance premiums.
  8. Online social media (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) will continue to grow in popularity among dealers and their customers. Watch for the emergence of a new job title at your local dealership: Social Media Specialist.
  9. Vehicle design, fuel economy, environmental and safety improvements, drivability and durability features will increase rapidly. And consumers will demand greater value.
  10. Dealers will continue to enhance the retail automotive relationship and boost the ownership experience. Positive relations with customers, suppliers and partners will be a key hallmark of successful automotive retailing.

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