Tesla drivers are accustomed to completing the majority of the car-buying or leasing process online. However, a recent study from global business management experts, EY, indicates that not everyone is ready to abandon the car dealership experience. It’s an acquainted car-buying experience, especially for individuals who haven’t yet made the switch to electric vehicles. On the other hand, dealerships will need to adjust rapidly to the changes brought on by the arrival of electric vehicles or risk being left behind.
Test drives and physical touch are becoming mandatory:
According to EY, more than half of car owners and non-car owners want to physically experience a car before purchasing it. In addition, 57 percent of non-car owners and 61 percent of car owners prefer a test drive, which can be done at home or a convenient location.
The issue for a buyer looking to buy an EV from a car dealership is finding a salesman who is well-informed and competent in electric vehicles. Car dealerships need to realize that the electric era has arrived, and it’s time to train their employees on EV sales and service.
Demand for clarity in pricing and financing:
When it comes to financing a car, 66 percent of non-car owners and 73 percent of car owners who are purchasing their first electric vehicle prefer to get quotes and acquire finance online. Furthermore, 36% of non-vehicle owners and 39% of car owners want to know how much money they have to pay for a car upfront.
The survey also reports that more than 50% of non-car owners and car owners prefer a fixed final price with no bargaining. According to 29% of those who agree or strongly agree, completing paperwork online is preferable to doing it at the dealership.
Horse-trading is pleasing for some individuals, but it may be stressful and daunting for others. However, it’s evident that most consumers prefer to enter dealerships equipped with information, prices, and financing that they’ve gotten online.
EY’s inference about car dealerships:
According to the 2018 Mobility Consumer Index, most customers aren’t ready to transfer the whole car-buying process online, but they are on their way to an online multichannel future. Dealers must adapt to this change by becoming trusted advisors and copilots in the customer’s decision-making process.
Current Dealer’s perspective:
A spokesperson of Vehya asked various salesmen for their opinions and understanding of electric cars, using the criterion of “reliable advisers and copilots.”
The salesperson at Mini, a brand that will go all-electric by 2030, was uninterested in discussing EVs and didn’t have a clue about them.
Toyota, of course, does not have any electric vehicles on the market currently. At their dealership, no one was concerned about EVs, which is ironic given that the Prius was previously groundbreaking.
According to our representative, neither of those dealerships came across as “reliable consultants and copilots.”
Our spokesperson also contacted a BMW dealership. They only had hybrids on the lot at that time.
A BMW salesperson told our representative that they had about 15 BEV pre-orders. He also said that he presently drives a hybrid and is looking forward to switching to an all-electric BMW vehicle when it becomes available. According to our representative, this salesperson had the potential to be a “copilot,” and he was working diligently to become a “trusted adviser.”
But there is hope. “We help auto dealers not only install EV chargers but educate their staff on the different EVs and features of them,” explains William McCoy, CEO of Vehya. “We’ve found that it is not a matter of salespeople or dealers being uninterested in EVs, but a lack of understanding and their importance in the automotive future.”