Consumer demands have always driven market changes, and the automotive industry is no exception. When people wanted bigger cars, they got SUVs and a whole new generation of cool minivans. When the hybrid boom set in, the smaller and more efficient the cars began to dominate and we saw the invasion of Prius’ and SmartCars on the roadways. Now that automation is taking over, drivers are seeking vehicles that dominantly do the work for them. Automation hasn’t just stayed in it’s lane of self-driving vehicles (pun intended), it’s leaked into the apps and services regulating the car-buying process and changing consumer demands. Today, we’ll explore how automation is changing buyer expectations and uprooting the typical dealership sales model.

A few months back, we talked about Fair, a company whose website boldly claims you can “Get a car on your phone” and “add insurance with a tap”. Fair allows users to choose and sign an agreement for a rental vehicle all on their phone. While they still partner with local dealerships to provide the vehicles to user, Fair is embodying a consumer interaction trend seen across the automotive app. By placing the process in the palms of customers, they completely dismantle the pressured sales environment of dealerships. Rideshares also set the stage by empowering consumers to find, book, and pay for a ride all through their phone- taking out uncertainty of fair pricing and guaranteeing transparency.

Apparently, the desire for transparency isn’t just staying in the tech world. According to industry executives, today’s car-buyers want more and more education and less and less sales and persuasion. What does that mean for dealerships? No more haggling. Dealerships across the country are adopting online pricing and feature selection so buyers can spend as little time as possible in the dealership.

What do you think? Are apps changing the car sales industry? Leave a comment below!

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