In this insightful and special 50th UCDP episode, Zach has a conversation with industry expert and investor Steve Greenfield about the fast-changing automotive landscape. They delve into timely topics, such as electric vehicles, OEM subscription-based features, autonomous technology, and digital retail, providing valuable insights into the industry's evolution.
Some of the questions asked include:
Q) Steve, it's been quite a while since we last had you on the podcast, and you've accomplished some incredible things with Automotive Ventures and the Dealer Fund. For our listeners who may not be as familiar with your recent work, could you share some of the standout highlights from the past year?
Q) During the pandemic, online used car dealers like CVNA took the public markets by storm, but since then, several of these online used car dealers (Vroom, Shift) are down over 90% since pandemic highs; what's the outlook for these sort of companies? From my perspective, Carmax is winning that niche right now.
Q) When you look at the automotive software companies that have started raising at a seed stage post-pandemic, what are some of the interesting problems they are solving in the auto tech/mobility space?
Q) I heard you speak at NADA this year, and you talked a little about the EV space; what's your perspective on some of the disruption in the service side of the auto industry, specifically BEV and over-the-air updates?
Q) Autonomous tech has been a hot topic in the industry for over a decade; at one point, Elon predicted we would have 1M Tesla Robotaxis by 2020; from your view, where are we with autonomous tech?
Q) ChatGPT has become the fastest-growing consumer software product to date. As an investor, what are your thoughts on AI’s potential implications not only for auto software products but also from a (data) inventory pricing or trade appraisal perspective?
Q) Saas and Subscriptions are eating the world. When BMW announced features like heated seats were to be sold to consumers on a subscription model, it created a lot of buzz. What’s your perspective on subscription features in a car, and what does that mean for the used car side of the business once that new car with a subscription is sold to the next buyer?
Q) Digital retail was a big buzzword during the pandemic, and there was a lot of interest from dealers on how they could sell inventory online via one of these tools. Roadster was a big winner of this movement, but some of the other DR tools have since then shuttered; what’s the next iteration of DR in this industry beyond the e-commerce widget?
Q) What headwinds do you see coming down the pipeline for traditional new and used car dealerships?
Q) What automotive innovation are you most excited about that you saw at CES this year?
Q) You are closing a fund at the end of the month; tell us about that and how accredited investors can join. (If allowed / ok to ask)
Q) Lastly, you are an amazing speaker and a Delta million miler which means your 2nd home may be a Delta One plane seat; what are some upcoming industry events dealers or allied industry listening can see you speak at?
Listen to our other podcast episodes: https://www.sellyautomotive.com/podcast
Transcribe of this podcast - https://blog.sellyautomotive.com/blog/steveg/april2023