Unfortunately, I think this is the demise of automotive retailing as we know it.
Think about it: A horse dealer had a stable of horses of all ages, and you would come in and get the horse that suited you. You'd trade in your old horse and take your new horse home.
Car dealers will continue to exist as a fringe business for people who want personalized modules or who buy reproduction vintage Ferraris or reproduction Formula 3 cars. Automotive sport — using the cars for fun — will survive, just not on public highways. It will survive in country clubs such as Monticello in New York and Autobahn in Joliet, Ill. It will be the well-to-do, to the amazement of all their friends, who still know how to drive and who will teach their kids how to drive. It is going to be an elitist thing, though there might be public tracks, like public golf courses, where you sign up for a certain car and you go over and have fun for a few hours.
And like racehorse breeders, there will be manufacturers of race cars and sports cars and off-road vehicles. But it will be a cottage industry.
Yes, there will be dealers for this, but they will be few and far between. People will be unable to drive the car to the dealership, so dealers will probably all be on these motorsports and off-road dude ranches. It is there where people will be able to buy the car, drive it, get it serviced and get it repainted. In the early days, those tracks may be relatively numerous, but they will decline over time.
So auto retailing will be OK for the next 10, maybe 15 years as the auto companies make autonomous vehicles that still carry the manufacturer's brand and are still on the highway.
But dealerships are ultimately doomed. And I think Automotive News is doomed. Car and Driver is done; Road & Track is done. They are all facing a finite future. They'll be replaced by a magazine called Battery and Module read by the big fleets.
The era of the human-driven automobile, its repair facilities, its dealerships, the media surrounding it — all will be gone in 20 years.