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The future of car retailing in South Africa

Car retailing in South Africa as we know it has changed how we buy cars. I don't have a crystal ball to tell you what's going to change in the future, but I can tell you what's not going to exist. Two important factors that influence us as we buy cars: A car is a big asset and the second biggest purchase in a car buyers life. Fulfilment has to be done in the car dealership. Besides being the second biggest purchase, the car buyer is unlikely to buy a used car car fully online like a consumer good. In [...]

Social media networks influence car buyers

Over the years I’ve come across car dealerships who believe that car sales occur on social media, is this true? Car buyers could buy cars on social media in some instances but I’m not convinced. What is social media? I believe there’s no such thing as social media – it’s a term that society has coined for various social platforms. They are just "platforms" on the internet that people go to consume different kinds of content. Just as Google is a search platform, YouTube is a platform too, like Facebook, Instagram, AutoTrader, etc. Social media are some words somebody made [...]

Abdullah Veraschia – DigiCars | Industry Spotlight

I caught up with the co-founder of DigiCars, Abdullah Veraschia. He has a fascinating story specifically behind the birth of DigiCars – a car dealership driven to make an online difference for the South African car buyer. Friendships become business partners At the back of an iconic 2010 in South Africa's history, Abdullah Veraschia met his then potential business partner at pilgrimage and because both were driven by similar passion; cars – they along with other colleagues decided to focus more on thinking what the future of the automotive sector might be? What the future of automotive retail is? COVID-19 [...]

100 days of lockdown | Keo Hlope – Newzroom Afrika

I recently had an interview with Keo Hlope from Newzroom Africa. We discussed the effect of the first 100 days of lockdown on the automotive industry, used car sales, trends and insights. As car dealerships started to open their doors to car buyers, they’ve been cautious about operating under the new normal. Car dealerships have embraced the fact that all cars have to be sanitized before and after the test drive, they've complied and put in place solid PPE requirements. Car dealerships are signing registers, taking temperatures, wearing masks and staff have been trained. I visited a few already and [...]

Future of Car Dealerships with Automotive Digital Retailing

The future opportunities of Automotive Digital Retailing for Car Dealerships has suddenly exploded. Many car dealerships have begun to focus on Automotive Digital Retailing as a priority in their businesses due to the pandemic and the advent of social distancing. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the  adoption of Automotive Digital Retailing by car dealerships was slow to say the least. I was overseas for a while at the beginning of the year. Part of my trip included a quick stopover in the UK where I had the opportunity of being a guest on an automotive podcast called The Armchair Show. [...]

Branding and car dealership marketing

Buying cars, buying tyres or buying anything else in autos is similar in that the search initially begins online. Creating a car dealership brand using effective online marketing strategies has become more important than ever If we look at AutoTrader's past, the days of print, there were two competitive advantages, print and distribution. Facings on the retail shelf also drove the brand into the mind of the consumer, we didn't have to market much outside of this. But, there was one inherent problem, we couldn't reach scale. The magazine that we printed could only publish around 10,000 cars for sale. [...]

How to bring the car trade in back to car dealerships

One of the ways car dealerships buy a car from consumers is as a trade in. The trade in has become more important to car sales, now more than ever before. And there are some car dealerships that are getting their hands on the trade in and some who are losing their grip on the trade in. There are a few factors that car dealerships can start thinking about, like making sure they price their cars to market, efficiently manage stock age, track and respond to high demand makes and models in their areas. The internet has disrupted everything, even [...]

(Un)lock COVID-19 lockdown for car dealerships

Now that the country has officially been put on lockdown following the COVID-19 outbreak. Everyone, including car dealerships have had to close doors. What has the impact of this been on the automotive industry, specifically car dealerships? Are businesses quickly adapting their online business models and marketing tactics? Are car dealerships building new and creative ways of engaging with their customers online. Are car dealerships thinking about Automotive Digital Retailing even more than ever? I recently spoke to two successful car dealers (here's the link to the full show): Bobby Petkov (DP - MitMak Motors) and Cecilia Reis (DP - [...]

The car dealer can still secure a strong digital presence in SA

Who would agree with me that it’s tough in our economy? Though in this tough economy, without the car buying consumer, we can't sell all the wonderful things that we make or secure a strong car dealer digital presence in SA. Let me try and push the boundaries a little & give you some insights into what we see in the consumer market - all to help the car dealer secure a strong digital consumer presence in a changing economy. The tech-savvy consumer We can agree that the South African car landscape is complex, there are many car makes, models [...]

Market your dealership and put retail back into selling cars

Do you want to know how to effectively market your dealership? Recently AutoTrader revealed the latest iteration of the car industry report. The report outlines results from the analysis of vast amounts of demand, supply and pricing data. Using this data effectively can help you market your dealership. While new car sales data is one dimension. We asked ourselves, what's missing for car dealerships and OEMs to run more effective businesses? The answer is consumer attention, what can we learn from understanding the people that are voting with their wallet before they vote with their wallet. We want to know [...]