Research programme Europe 2016-2017

Transforming sales and aftersales: respond, restructure, realign
For players across the automotive sector, the need to respond to the pressures for change is a compelling one.  Existing approaches need to be optimised, and costs cut, in order to fund the investments in the omni-channel environment.  Threats, from new entrants, first-movers, or disruptors, need to be countered.  At one level, this response will require restructuring; numbers, sizes, shapes.  But perhaps even more critically, it will require realignment; of roles, responsibilities, approaches, systems, and people, to meet the needs and expectations of customers.

The topics that we covered in our 2016-2017 Europe programme are summarised below.

    • Building lasting customer relationships
      • What are customers looking for in terms of products, services, and particularly relationships both pre- and post-sale?  How can the sector win ‘customers for life’?
    • Customer expectations at the point of sale
      • What physical outlet experience are customers looking for?  How do they rate alternative sales and service formats?  What role will technology play in allowing either ‘self-service’ formats, or in assisting the sales staff?
    • The needs of small fleet customers
      • Which channels or formats are best-placed to serve the specific and evolving sales and service needs of small fleet customers?
    • Where does digital add value?
      • How do customers value the services on offer from OEM, dealer, independent sector, and third-party online channels?  How are other sectors using digital across their own channels and social media to deliver additional value to customers?
    • Handling and protecting customer data
      • How should data from the customer and the car be handled, protected, and shared in the omni-channel environment?  What needs to be done to build customer trust, and ensure regulatory compliance?
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    • Network roles and responsibilities
      • Is the traditional OEM-dealer relationship model still valid in the omni-channel environment?  How should they and other channel players (such as finance companies, service providers, and third-party platforms) come together to deliver a unified ‘shop’ for customers?
    • Large dealer group economics and benchmarks
      • How are the largest dealer groups across Europe evolving, and what makes them tick?  What features will they need to develop or acquire to make them ideal future channel partners?
    • How should the property time-bomb facing dealers be addressed?
      • Faced with changing customer and network needs, and challenging economics, what should dealer strategy towards their property be?  What role will OEMs play in maintaining future physical outlet presence?
    • Trends in sales and aftersales channel ownership and investment
      • How far will the consolidation of dealer ownership extend?  How will independent repairer and parts distribution channels evolve?  How attractive will the sector be to existing or outside investors?  What role will private equity play in accelerating or facilitating these changes?
    • Used car remarketing innovation
      • How well do OEMs and independent channels handle the remarketing of used cars that are under their control?  What could be done to improve system efficiency?
    • New vehicle supply systems benchmark update
      • Where has the sector got to on the journey from ‘push’ to ‘pull’ distribution?  What can still be done to improve new vehicle supply system capability, stock management, and supply performance from a customer perspective?
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    • Future aftermarket projection
      • How are the key indicators of future aftermarket size, shape, and value continuing to evolve?  What will be the impact on both franchised and independent players?
    • Independent repair sector structures and economics: revenue and profit split
      • How is the picture of the various players in the independent repair sector changing?  Will we see more consolidation in the years ahead?  What are the economic ingredients of successful performers?
    • Role of industry and private equity consolidators in aftersales and parts channels
      • Are there opportunities for real scale players to emerge in the aftermarket?  What role will external investors play in driving this change?
    • Future routes to market for regular and crash repair spare parts
      • Will OEMs, parts suppliers, or wholesalers move to reconfigure parts distribution channels? 
    • The role of OEM-backed insurance
      • How is OEM-backed insurance developing?  What role could insurance, including telematics-linked services, play as a retention tool for OEMs?
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    The membership year for our Europe research programme runs from 1st April to 31st March, but we always welcome new members at any time on a pro rata subscription.

    Subscriptions for the Europe programme are set according to the type of organisation and the size and scope of their business, with annual membership starting from as little as €2,500 for individual dealerships.  Please contact the Project Office for more information.

    A downloadable version of our Europe programme proposal for 2016-2017 is available here.


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