It has never been more clear that transformational change to one of the world’s largest industries is just around the corner. Car ownership is supposed to change — and when it does, it is predicted to be one of the most monumental displacements of wealth the world economy has ever seen.
But there are a lot of conflicting opinions and information out there. Industry experts and headlines are telling us that Tesla will rule the world, car manufacturers are becoming mobility companies and Uber and Lyft mean the end of traditional car ownership as we know it. They’re also saying that car dealerships will die at the hands of online car-buying sites such as Beepi, Carvana, Vroom and Shift. On the contrary, headlines are also touting that vehicle sales are at all-time highs, trucks are the leading category of new car sales and millennials are buying cars more than ever.
There’s also the looming question of autonomous driving technology. Uber and Lyft want self-driving cars to replace their drivers ASAP, and companies like Apple and GM are spending aggressively to position themselves for success in a theoretical, autonomous mobility landscape. But even Google, which has been developing this technology since 2009, is unsure if fully autonomous cars can become viable within the next 30 years.
What is unequivocal is that there’s a lot of noise around the future of transportation. Like anyone who lives in Silicon Valley, I believe change is coming and that current car ownership models are ripe for disruption. But with personal car sales at an all-time high, the question is when — and how? The assumed agents of change are the likes of Tesla, Uber, Google, Apple or Ford, but lost in all of these predictions is the linchpin for the entire auto industry. That’s the unsexy, yet enormous world of auto finance — the huge market that makes it all work.
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Author: Digital Dealer
Digital Dealer exists to help dealers and their managers sell more vehicles more profitably by creating the best live events and media in the industry.