DETROIT -- As new technology and transportation services emerge, Wes Lutz, chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association, cautioned the auto industry -- and the press that covers it -- to take the prognostications of how primary transportation models will change with a grain of salt.
Lutz, president of Extreme Chrysler-Dodge-Jeep-Ram in Jackson, Mich., objected to three refrains that have become common in the industry:
- People will no longer buy personal vehicles.
- Autonomous vehicles will eliminate traffic fatalities.
- Dealers will have to be dragged into the electric vehicle revolution.
"Each one of these narratives might sound right. But the truth is that each one is built on false or unproven pretenses," Lutz said at an Automotive Press Association luncheon here. "And these narratives are put out there by stakeholders that have an obvious incentive for them to be true -- even if they aren't."
The developments are exciting, and they are "shaking up the industry," Lutz acknowledged. "But many of those individuals and entities are also, for lack of a better phrase, sort of having their way with the press right now."