Autonomous cars and the retail network

  17 July 2017

When promoting new technology or new cars, OEMs are not known for thinking how this tech will be sold. Maybe it’s just me, but it always sees to be somewhat of an afterthought.

This past week was no exception.

Attending the Audi Summit – the manufacturer’s replication of a tech company style annual conference – at the start of the week the company showed off its latest cars, digital services and assorted technology. Much of which was very impressive. Have no doubt, autonomous cars are on their way.

However, delve a little deeper and ask how the retail environment or the retailers role will be impacted by this tech and it becomes quickly clear that at manufacturer level this has yet to be considered. The furthest any of the day’s speakers would go is to say that whoever services these fully autonomous cars will need to be licenced to make sure safety is maintained.

It’s only when you get to national sales company level is it recognised that there is a need to communicate with the retailers and involve them in this future tech.

However, if autonomous cars are to succeed retailers must be thought of from the outset, because if they aren’t the support for this new tech just won’t be there.

Tristan Young
Editorial director
Auto Retail Network


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