Sadly, I must once again open my column extending condolences to those who have been impacted by a hurricane, this time Irma, and wish them a speedy recovery. If there is any positive to this slew of natural disasters, it is that new car sales in the affected areas are forecast to be robust on the back of replacement purchases.
What if a big chunk of the cars that were lost to Harvey and Irma were part of a ride-sharing fleet? Would dealerships benefit from the replacement sales? The role of dealerships in a market composed of ride-sharing fleets, potentially autonomous, is always on my mind. I hope it is on dealers’ minds, as well.
Something that is surely on Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealers’ minds is whether to invest in a stand-alone Jeep dealership. They would have to absorb the cost but FCA will give them extra Jeeps to sell, I heard from an FCA executive. Equal treatment? You be the judge.
While investing in Jeep-alone store will likely help a dealer sell more Jeeps, the impact on the remaining Chrysler Dodge Ram dealership’s value won’t be so salubrious, buy sell experts told me.
This week we heard that GM’s Maven is having a lot of success with its ride-sharing experiment, and that GM will produce more autonomous Bolt EVs to test in the fleets. Meanwhile, Lyft is teaming up with Drive.ai to test autonomous vehicle technology in California, and a car-sharing firm in San Francisco called Turo, which essentially makes a car owner a rental company, landed $92 million in investment.
In a retail world on the edge of change, should dealers be required to invest in new bricks and mortar facilities? This week, Oren Tasini looks at dealers’ rights in these matters.
And of course we have, as always, Transaction News.