Automotive industry is leaning towards AI/ML to stay customer focused and relevant through Covid-19

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“We do know that the car buying process has been evolving long before this virus began to disrupt our lives and work. There is no doubt that consumer behaviours have significantly shifted. Today’s buyers have set clear expectations that they will regularly make large- and small–scale purchases through personalized experiences online. While these behaviours have gained popularity over time, the demand for the conveniences realized through digital retailing has been magnified as a result of this crisis.We understand how important it is to create great experiences and build important connections with customers based on trust and transparency.”Brian Krzanich, President/CEO, CDK Global Inc

Organizations large and small are seeking solutions to understand where the new normal may be going when we emerge from the Coronavirus crisis. Automotive companies amongst others across the world started managing work remotely since the outbreak of the pandemic. All meetings with customers, partners, dealers and other direct stakeholders are now digital. Some of the top-most pressing business challenges faced by the automotive industry in the current Covid-19 pandemic context include supply chain disruption, lost productivity, slow sales, cash flow and employee morale.

Auto dealers& OEMs today are taking stronger measures like leaning on AI/ML solutions to mitigate the impact on customer service levels, revenue and margin of different decisions.All data analytics and predictions of compact model have been taken to test with impact of the pandemic. Other challenges unique to the COVID-19 crisis include a sudden and steep drop in vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and customer foot traffic because of physical distancing& lockdowns across the world. These shifts, combined with the potential for a slow economic recovery, mean that aftermarket demand may take years to recover to 2019 levels. All the key automotive ecosystem players in industry are gravitating towards AI/ML as the potential to realize meaningful change and innovation to emerge as a strong player post during and post Covid-19

With so many challenges ahead, Auto Dealers aretakingcertain important and business critical steps to improve their businesses and emerge stronger from the crisis.

Digital channels and digital retailing:

In the United States, more end-consumers are now shopping online, which helps mitigate the adverse effect of curfews and closed workshops. AI/ML have played a big role in digital retailing sector, name it like recommendation system or prediction system on loan lender or the sales numbers.

Digital retailinghas brought the need for integrated transportationproviders; dealers can transform the automotive business and the mainstreaming of new mobility services is an opportunity for dealers. The interest of people is now in used car or a brand new one or recreation vehicle has been increased, it shows the awareness among people on the lively hood and the survival lessons. Digital retailing as well as digital channels have enabled full online transactions omni-channel and touchless experience.

Auto Dealers considering the business impact of Corona have comeup with offers to support customers in this crisis. Dealers are using latest technology trends and tools like AI/ML to understand customers buying patterns, service-related areas and provide innovative solutions to the customers. There seems to be a great need for AI/ML tools to find customer buying patterns, proactively identifying need for service and reaching out to customers for appointments, parts delivery.

Bringing Auto Service to home: Dealers are working with Technology Companies who specialize in Dealership Management Software to introduce analytics, AI/ML solutions to help them understand patterns of service , reach out to customers proactively for upcoming service, provide new value added service like car pickup, parts delivery , transportation of car

Personal transportation

Many people are taking fewer trips via public transport and shared-mobility services to reduce social contact. In some cases, ride-sharing services have also temporarily ceased operations. The increased reliance on personal vehicles may spur demand for aftermarket services once people begin routinely travel.

As social distancing has become a normal norm, people are more interested in recreation vehicles, for travel and enjoyment with family and friends with all safety measure. Auto Dealers are focusing on these sectors, prediction of volatility in sales have made the technology in place to support people. Our recreation vehicle sales have proven the moving interest of people.AI/ML based toolswould help identify the need of people in personal vehiclethrough which industry can customize the models. AI and robotics can bring a big change in personal vehicle sector by introducing autonomous cars.

To survive the crisis and emerge even stronger, the automotive sector must adapt to the next normal with dramatic changes, including those that consider the industry’s structural shifts.

  1. Leverage Technology and Tools like AI/ML for Customer Service, Digital Retailing, Social Media Analytics for customer identification to service
  2. Developing go to market approach with end to end solution.
  3. Insurance support and geographically provided nearest engagement with the customer.
  4. OEM’s can come up with adaptive new models to support different sectors per people’s choice.

COVID-19 has brought new norms to life. With this impact,neither it will immediately lift the economy, nor will shift gears backwards.Auto Dealers believeand acknowledge that the path to recovery will require a much different approach than prior crises to not only survive but also thrive, especially if they begin their long-term planning now and keep working towards this.

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