Professional Community for Car Dealers, Marketing, Advertising and Sales Leaders
Human nature has always driven the marketplace with technology developed to provide a superior customer experience typically defined by lower prices, competitive products and maximum convenience. The other side of the table is the need for a profit and acceptable risk to reward for the sellers.
Based on these truths, the answer to your question is Manufacturers using Technology to enhance their customer's experience supported by a dealer network to accommodate test drives and after sales service. A technology driven manufacturing and marketing platform controlled by the OEM's with direct to consumer online sales and service information supported by a brick and mortar dealer body would satisfy both the buyers and the sellers - wholesale and retail.
Real time parts on demand during the manufacturing process dictated by actual online sales would reduce production costs for the OEMs as well as dealers by eliminating the need for onsite inventories and the related carry costs such as floor plan, insurance, etc.. The savings passed onto consumers would add enough value to justify any delay in delivery with a minimum "test drive" inventory available at local dealership's to facilitate final buying decisions. Next generation finance/leasing contracts offering a liberal return/exchange policy with custom options like "fractionalized ownership" would further improve customer satisfaction supporting this new business model.
For now, the biggest obstacle to this online sales/service marketplace is government regulations limiting online transactions, adherence to current franchise laws and customer hesitancy to make large buying decisions online. The consumer confidence concerns are already eroding with the explosive growth of sites like Amazon, the slow death of large box brick and mortar retail stores/malls along with added dependence on online customer reviews to support a buying decision.
Today's first choice sites for online car shopping, such as AutoTrader, Edmunds, etc., will soon shift to next generation offerings from Amazon, Google and probably Facebook as they capitalize on their extensive customer base and search engine data enabling them to direct consumer shopping habits.
After all, what are friends for.
These future visions are being shared by:
Ad Agency Online, LLC
Very thorough answer—I really appreciate it. Anyone else you recommend I ask?