Wishing you all a Very Happy New Year! We as dealers have made strides in adapting to the digital technology due to the situation forced upon us by pandemic. But keeping pace with more rapid changes against the backdrop of supply shortages in Cars, we will require a deeper understanding of what consumers expect and value.
As we enter 2022, seamless and digital car-buying experiences, connected, electric vehicles and other mobility options will keep increasing in demand. But, with the semiconductor and other supply shortages continuing to impact the sector, the question remains: How should OEMs and Dealers address this issue long-term?
It is a particularly pressing question, as today’s automobile electronic systems can include upwards of 1,000 and as many as 1,400 semiconductor chips. The technology systems chips enable range from engine management and in-vehicle infotainment to safety-related systems. So, understandably in the past year OEMs have tried to adjust their supply-chain strategies to mitigate the effects of the shortages. But, while these efforts have included developing more resilient supply chains for the future, a key part of making them sustainable will also mean accommodating new customer expectations driven by evolving trends.
One such relatively new trend involves auto customers who, encouraged by positive e-commerce interactions with other industries, increasingly expect the same level of personalized services, and experiences when purchasing their vehicle. This reflects a trend of growing interest in customization and ever-faster advances in technologies that are enabling customer expectations to change more rapidly. At the same time, the four key megatrends which the global Auto Industry is being talking about for some time are Converging, including Connectivity, Autonomous Driving, Shared Mobility and of course Electrification (CASE).
As a result of these new market dynamics, Auto OEMs and Dealers are having to rethink their products and business models in ways that will meet demand fluctuations as they become more fluid and, to some extent, more daunting. While facing these challenges, however, the auto industry also is on the verge of realizing great promise as the age of mobility takes hold. A continued supply shortage could threaten that promise.
Therefore, to sustain growth in these uncertain times, Auto OEMs and Dealers not only will need to keep pace with accelerating changes in demand but also anticipate such changes as part of their supply-chain strategies.
Reshaping the right customer experience will require that OEMs and Dealers, working together, incorporate this new understanding of consumer expectations throughout several strategic pillars that support today’s vehicle-buying. Key among them will be consistently re-energizing the customer experience that ranges from capturing customer insights on and offline, as well as providing genuine pre-sale and post-sale customer support. This will require using advanced analytics and other new data sources to continually gain new insights.
Executing end-to-end offerings that meet customer demand in each local market also will be essential. In fact we need to work upon on being a one stop destination for anything related to a customer’s vehicle including accessories, extended warranties, financial services, aftersales service and spares. I will hence request all of you to discuss this with your OEMs so that they provide Dealers with insights and recommendations that enable them to manage financial risks. It’s unclear when the supply slowdown will end, but taking these steps will better prepare the auto industry for the future.
The 2 Wheeler category is currently in its worst phase. Reeling under the impact of the second wave in April-June 2021 followed by price increases by the OEMs, skyrocketing fuel prices, bad shape of the rural economy , lacklustre wedding season demand and increasing interest in electric 2W specially in urban markets are among the reasons for the fall in demand. The hype of Electric 2 Wheelers has also prompted some of the customers to delay their buying decision. This will be the second category after three wheeler which will see electrification happening at a faster pace. The new age Electric 2 Wheler OEMs are also increasing their capacity which will help this transition faster. It is hence a good opportunity for all 2 Wheeler Dealer friends to look at this avenue for future growth and business sustainability planning.
The inventory at the Dealers end are once again at alarming levels and all of us need to talk to our OEMs so that the same can be controlled. FADA through its monthly Press Release is already highlighting this issue to the entire Auto Industry community and especially to our 2 Wheeler principals. Apart from this, we as a fraternity also need to discuss with Banks and OEMs to launch easy finance schemes so that we are in a position to revive the demand.
This year with the New Year bells, we woke up with the news regarding rising Omicron cases pan India. The recent unprecedented spike in COVID-19 cases globally has once again created uncertainties and challenges. Omicron has been witnessed to be more transmissible compared to other variants including Delta and has become the dominant strain across countries in the world. Being a responsible association we have hence decided to postpone our flagship event, Auto Summit which would have been in its 12th edition for a later date. Once things are back to normal, we will come back with fresh dates with a renewed energy.
Considering this new challenge, I am writing to urge, encourage and request all of you to ensure all our respective employees/workers, their families and the communities that we operate in are fully vaccinated. We also need to strictly adhere to COVID appropriate behaviour at the workplaces and shop floors by wearing masks, maintaining distance of at least 6 feet, washing hands at regular intervals, and maintaining personal health and hygiene.
Dovetailed with the 12th Auto Summit was the next edition of FADA Awards 2021 to recognise & reward Dealership Excellence. The nominations are live till 15th February’22 and I hence request all of you to kindly nominate your dealerships for the prestigious awards so that the best in the business are recognised & rewarded in front of the entire galaxy of OEMs, Dealers & other stakeholders of Automobile Industry.
Though we are unable to meet physically we at FADA are planning to host Webinars on various topics of interest to the dealership fraternity. I look forward to hearing from you regarding suggestions for topics for webinars.
Very soon, we shall be informing you regarding FADA’s proposed delegation to NADA’s convention 2022 to be held in Las Vegas from March 10 to March 13, 2022. As of now, a big bottleneck for many delegates is in getting their US visa processed. We have been in touch with NADA but it seems many countries are facing similar situation and they have expressed their inability for fasten the processing of US Visa for delegates to the convention. I must inform all of you that if in-case your US visa has expired, the US Consulate has started the renewal process via drop facilities. You are hence requested to get in touch with your travel agent to book a slot for yourself. The last date for cancelling your registration with NADA is February 1st, 2022 & to avoid one room night hotel retention, it will be better to cancel hotel bookings prior to January 31, 2022 especially those who yet not have their US visa.
Friends, during the last winter session of the Parliament, we met more then 25 MPs either in Delhi or at their home locations to create awareness for Auto Dealers Protection Act. With the upcoming Budget Session beginning from 31st January’22, I once again call upon each dealer friend to come forward for having a dialogue with local MPs & MLAs in your region to create more awareness about the Bill. In this case if you require any support kindly let Mr. Saharsh Damani, know. He will provide you with the necessary assistance required.
Coming to the State Activities, State Chairperson’s of Jharkhand Mr. Govind Mewar and Jammu & Kashmir Mr. Sanjay Aggarwal along with their regional directors met up with the State Transport Department’s senior officials apprising them about the Dealers concerns in the region and for quick redressal on the same. They also discussed about the implementation of CMVR Rules in their respective states. I am happy to inform you that post the meeting with TC Jharkhand, the state will be implementing the new CMV Rules soon.
Dear friends, though times are tough let’s continue to do our best for our community in the given circumstances by observing strict Covid Protocols. For any suggestion which you think that your associations should work upon, please feel free to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please be safe and remain healthy!