Waymo, an independent company previously the self-driving car unit of Google, has just received permission to test its autonomous vehicles without a driver here in California. Thus far, the vehicles have had a human present, though not actually driving. So, it seems self-driving vehicles loom large in the rear-view mirror.
But wait. An April survey by AAA found that 73 percent of those surveyed would be afraid to ride in an autonomous vehicle. This after a pedestrian was struck and killed by an AV in Arizona. With consumer acceptance lagging technology, it may be a while before we see hoards of driverless cars on the roads.
In any case, there is a place for retail dealerships in a world with growing numbers of autonomous vehicles. Those will likely be fleet vehicles, but someone must sell them. More importantly, they will require lots of service. Dealerships are ideally placed to provide that. They should be planning long-term to offer that service.
This week’s issue is all about long-term planning. We have had many columns addressing the need for succession planning. But what about long-term health care planning? That is just as important. While we don’t like to think about aging, it will certainly happen to all of us. And while we also don’t like to consider whether we will need long-term care as we age, not planning for it can have devastating financial consequences for privately-owned businesses. Key Private Bank looks at long-term health care planning in this issue.
Retail auto sales have been growing healthily for quite a few years now. Even in such an environment, however, dealerships have faced the challenge of shrinking profit margins. Now, sales growth is slowing. This week, a new contributor, J. Michael Issa, considers the importance of planning now for a possible exit in the longer term.
And of course we have Transaction News.