The more that consumers buy vehicles online and have them delivered directly to their driveway, the less it matters how extravagant the dealership showroom is.
Or so dealers argue.
Several automakers relaxed deadlines for brand image and facility upgrade programs in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, but they generally say dealers' investments in updated showrooms are necessary to boost sales and customer experience.
That leaves dealers, after feeling relief to get a break on some deadlines for a bit, now concerned that automakers' facility mandates will clash with the accelerated shift to digital retailing. Retailers say changes to the way facility programs are designed are necessary to bring them in step with rapidly changing consumer habits.