Automobile dealers are predicting a sharp decline in vehicle ownership in the coming years, but those who are most forward-looking see new forms of mobility as an opportunity.
That’s according to the latest Cox Automotive study, called “Evolution of Mobility: A Dealer’s Perspective.”
The survey suggests many dealer principles are watching future trends closely and are ready to start offering alternatives to traditional sell-lease options.
Approximately 28 percent of dealers expect a decline in vehicle ownership in the next five years, compared to only 18 percent of consumers.
Nearly half of dealers (47 percent) believe households will own fewer cars in the next 10 years, but only about 10 percent see new mobility options as a threat to current business.
Fully 72 percent of dealers do not view mobility trends as the end of the dealership model.
Ride-hailing (87 percent) is predicted by dealers to see the most growth, followed by car subscriptions (82 percent), car-sharing (81 percent) and autonomous vehicles (81 percent).
Three out of four dealers see a benefit in offering these shared services at their dealerships, with 40 percent viewing mobility as an opportunity to appeal to a new consumer base. Nearly 3-in-5 dealers (59 percent) also believe fixed operations will play a more important role with vehicles used for ride-hailing and car-sharing logging more miles and requiring more service.
“Dealers are approaching the evolving mobility landscape with their eyes wide open,” said Joe George, president of Cox Automotive Mobility. He said that while traditional car ownership isn’t seen as going away anytime soon, innovative transportation solutions will be adopted to keep their dealerships relevant.