The first 10 days of 2023 are in the rearview mirror. As we get further into the year – and closer to another NADA Show, no less – I find myself reflecting on how the wholesale auction landscape continues its streak of transformation.
Much like the larger automotive industry, that landscape is no stranger to digitization trends. Such evolution already occurred in the 2000s and 2010s when the Internet became more widely accessible, more businesses began experimenting with e-commerce and consumers and dealers alike flocked to online spaces.
The onset of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020 necessitated that transformation be turned up to 11. Now, nearly three years later, automakers, suppliers, remarketers and dealers are attempting to keep in stride with consumers' demands, which have shifted in favor of accessible online retail technologies.
"Today, most of our clients continue to prefer digital channels to conduct business, as evidenced by roughly 70 to 75 percent of all the vehicle purchases being made by digital buyers," Grace Huang, president of inventory solutions at Cox Automotive, said this week. Huang oversees wholesale auction giant Manheim.
Manheim is preparing for dealers to grow even more comfortable doing business digitally, Huang noted in a Manheim insights call ahead of the NADA Show happening later this month in Dallas. The auction network will showcase at the dealer convention its endeavors around vehicle imaging using artificial intelligence and diagnostic tools that better indicate the health of an electric vehicle's battery.
Readers, what digital tools or processes will you look for in 2023 at the NADA Show and beyond to transform or make more efficient the way consumers and dealers buy and sell cars? Let me know by sending me an email at [email protected]. Or reach out to meet me on the show floor.