A couple of “related news” stories I posted on ABSR this week point to the changing nature of the dealership business. The first, about AutoNation expanding its partnership with Waymo, the autonomous vehicle spinoff from Google parent Alphabet, suggests a way dealerships can earn income from autonomous vehicles – they can maintain them. Vehicles driven pretty much 24/7 are going to need a lot of maintenance even if they are electric.
The second is more relevant to today’s circumstances. Consumers are paying fewer and fewer visits to dealership showrooms. Ford is taking the showroom to the consumer by opening storefronts in shopping malls. Seems like a good move to me. These mall-based storefronts serve as satellite showrooms for local dealerships.
This week, I profile a newcomer to the dealership business. The theme of the profile doesn’t focus on this so much, however, as on the continuing importance of personal relationships in the retail car business despite a move to do a big chunk of the shopping process online.
Also this week, Ken Rosenfield returns with a look at the importance of understanding Framework Agreements and their possible impact on dealership valuation.
And of course we have Transaction News.