A new take on facilities: Forget bricks and mortar
Pollak: Who needs bricks?
Carmakers are going about the dealer facilities issue all wrong, says Dale Pollak, head of vAuto, a software provider that specializes in management of used-vehicle inventories.
Speaking at the American Financial Services Association conference in Orlando this month, Pollak said the physical dealership is less important to new generations of car shoppers than it used to be. Yet automakers continue to demand bigger and grander stores.
He told auto company executives: "You should be giving them incentives to reduce the cost of physical operations, not increase it, because it will be unsustainable for them in the future."
Pollak says Gen Y buyers want "fewer personal, physical touch points with the dealer." Instead, they want to do as much as possible online.
Logically, he said, that should please dealers, because they could move metal while spending less on bricks and mortar. But in fact Pollak says this new normal makes them "dour."
"For dealers, this implies a loss of control, a loss of margins," he said.
"It goes to the very heart of their psyche."