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The Digital Marketing Advantage GM Dealers Don’t Know They Have


GM Releases Information On The Future Of Its Connected Car Strategy:


But The REAL Questions Are:

  • What does this mean for the future of in-car connectivity?

  • Why does this matter for my dealership?

Debrief ---------------

Mary Chan, General Motor’s President of the Global Connected Consumer sat down at CTIA Wireless last week where she acknowledged that GM’s connected car strategy will be dramatically different. “Instead of trying to bring every app and service to market itself, GM is leaning heavily on its new partners Apple and Google to bring core infotainment apps to the dash and relying on the smartphone to supply the connectivity for those apps”Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are both user-interface layers that run on top of automakers’ own infotainment operating systems, essentially projecting a driver-optimized version of popular apps from the smartphone onto the dashboard screen.“

“GM is basically handing over development of any app that isn’t directly tied to the vehicle’s core driving capabilities over to Apple and Google.”


GM has chose this path for a variety of reasons:

  • Developing car specific apps is very tedious and requires lots of unnecessary work
  • Many apps require very little of the cars hardware to function
  • Consumers can use their phones internet connectivity to power the app without having to subscribe to a separate connected car plan

  This could be a + or – for the automaker:

  • Gain more users that will opt in to a free platform
  • Gain the ability to offer a larger variety of apps in vehicles
  • Loose revenue from subscription plans
  • Loose control of their connected car platform to app companies




By relying on the Smartphone to supply the connectivity of the apps, this gives dealers with a dealer app already in place a big advantage. A dealer app on a consumers phone will be able to directly link to the consumer’s vehicle giving the dealership yet another direct marketing connection to the consumer.  

This May Open Pandora’s Box Of Advertising For Dealers To:

  • Run advertisements directly on the digital dashboard
  • Create another direct interaction point to the consumer
  • Learn a consumers shopping habits
  • Determine how a customer interacts with their vehicle
  • Plug into a cars on-board connected car system to creating a SERVICE!!!


Picture this……

Scenario 1:

Your consumer steps into their vehicle, their _____ dealer app automatically syncs with their vehicle.

The app realizes that the vehicle is in need of an oil change and sends the customer your dealerships current oil change ad.

The consumer accepts the offer then the app routes the consumer to your dealership using the vehicles navigation system.


Scenario 2:

The dealer app analyzes the consumers shopping habits within the app and uses this information to market to the customer, subtly coaxing them into a vehicle purchase by using on screen advertising to psychologically keep the new car on the consumers top-of-mind.

Understanding the consumers shopping path allows the dealer to better segment purchasers into correct sections of the purchase funnel, allowing dealerships to use certain marketing methods to hit the customer at the correct place an time.

As apps continue to evolve, so too will the ability to market the connected consumer. This is just the tip of the mobile marketing iceberg, added customer vehicle insights will allow automotive marketing to take major turns in new directions giving your dealership new methods to interact with your customers on even higher levels.  

Also See: How Will Mobile Tech Partnerships Shift The Automotive Market?

By: Josh Knutson


Views: 148

Tags: app, apple, carplay, dealer, general, mobile, motors


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Comment by Alexander Lau on September 24, 2014 at 11:52am

Comment by Alexander Lau on September 24, 2014 at 11:51am

That's all good and fine, but the way to go is open source. The OEM heads making that decision must be in the back pockets of the software developer company. Apple / Microsoft, etc.

I worked for an embedded Linux company for a couple of years, the way to go is open source! It's only risky, if you have an unqualified team of developers at the helm. Security is only a risk with poorly planned projects, the same could be said of a proprietary group, I'll call BS on that one.

Carmakers today have to maintain their proprietary operating systems, which they buy from outside software providers. And that leaves them at the mercy of their vendors. For example, Microsoft supplies Ford's MySync system, so Ford would be forced to find another supplier if Microsoft decided to abandon the automotive market.

With Linux, the auto industry has a full community of open-source developers supporting and updating the software. The same could be said of WordPress versus costly blog platforms. is excellent.

Comment by Alexander Lau on September 24, 2014 at 11:51am

If I'm an OEM, I go nowhere near it. The best OS for cars is Linux-based. Proprietary with Apple, I think freaking not!

Automakers want to standardize on a Linux-based OS that would make vehicle infotainment systems act more like smartphones

"Today, automakers are having a hard time getting their customers to buy informatics systems because they only can do 10% of what a mobile phone can do," said Rudi Streif, who leads the Automotive Grade Linux workgroup for the Linux Foundation.

"In the past, we've had generations of infotainment systems where we buy a piece of hardware and some proprietary software from a tier 1 supplier to the auto industry. Then, two to three years later, we go and buy another black box from a different supplier. And you're effectively wasting those efforts," said Matt Jones, a senior technical specialist for infotainment systems at Jaguar Land Rover.

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