Steve Greenfield, a seasoned automotive industry expert with over 20 years of experience, is the CEO and Founder of Automotive Ventures, and the author of the book "The Future of Automotive Retail." With a strong background in mergers, acquisitions, strategy, and fundraising, Steve has established himself as an authoritative voice in automotive technology and innovation. His insights and analysis are highly sought-after, making him a regular feature in news media outlets, social media channels, and conferences nationwide.
In this episode live from NADA in Dallas we delved deep into the shifting landscape of the automotive retail industry. Greenfield and David delve into the implications of the EV boom on the automotive industry. They touched on how the shift to electric vehicles could potentially change the way franchise agreements are structured, as well as the challenges that dealers face in committing to facility upgrades for EVs. Dealers are now grappling with the need to invest in expensive facility improvements while also being asked to commit to new technology products that may reduce the need for large showrooms.
Greenfield pointed out that with the surge in EV production, there could be an oversupply of models that may not be readily absorbed by fleet operators such as Hertz. This could lead to a resurgence of incentives to attract dealers and consumers to take on these "turds that nobody wants." Greenfield also highlighted Tesla's recent price slashes as a possible response to increasing competition from automakers like Ford and GM, who are making strides in the EV market.
The conversation also touched on the growing concern among dealers about the agency model, external disruption, and the used car market. Greenfield mentioned how some automakers, like Ford, are requiring dealers to choose between committing to EV-related facility upgrades or only being allowed to sell ICE vehicles in the future. This decision puts dealers in a difficult position, as they must anticipate future market trends and make significant investments accordingly.
Greenfield shared his insights on what he believes are the most important actions that dealers should take in light of these changes. He emphasized the importance of understanding and adapting to the various profit and loss models that exist within a dealership, as the dynamics of each department are shifting rapidly with the rise of EVs and other industry changes.
The episode highlighted the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for automotive retailers in a world increasingly dominated by electric vehicles and changing consumer expectations. As the landscape continues to evolve, it will be crucial for dealers to adapt and stay informed in order to remain competitive and successful in the long run.
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