Completely controlling all the steps of the production and distribution process of a product is one of the great chimeras of manufacturers. A process that car manufacturers are also going through. Dealerships are beginning to be at risk. And Tesla confirms it.
we digitize. It is a process that is taking place in all industries. We buy more online, whatever the product, and physical stores are concerned about a movement that is taking us out of the meeting point between seller and customer. 2020 with the coronavirus pandemic ended up breaking all records.
In 2019 it was already estimated that 75,000 physical stores will have been lost in the United States by the time we reach 2025. El Corte Inglés exemplifies the movement in Spain, closing large shopping centers throughout the country. And, even, all this has led to unexpected expenses, such as the end of free returns in clothing stores. Even filling the online cart is already considered as a psychological therapy.
The car, to the cart. December 20, 2013. The news appeared in Xataka: would you buy a car online? Our colleague Ibáñez explained the growing tendency of brands to take the step to online sales. In the United States, companies were already operating that, in case of doubt, brought the car to the customer’s house so that he could see it first-hand.
Almost a decade later, online sales are a reality. The Global Automotive Executive Survey 2021 (GAES 2021) report, carried out by the consulting firm KPMG, pointed out that 62% of the managers of firms that work in Spain maintain that in 2030 the majority of sales will be online. Outside our borders, the percentage grows to 78%.
And this position has arguments behind it. Volvo sells its XC40 Recharge and C40 Recharge exclusively online. Maria Grazia Davino, head of sales for Stellantis in Europe, confirmed to Reuters that they are working on a complete restructuring of their distribution model. And in China, boutiques are taking over.
same as tesla. This same strategy is the one that Tesla has followed since its launch. Sell their products themselves, use small physical stores in shopping centers as boutiques and, above all, work under online orders. In fact, it is the most convenient way to order one of its sought-after electric cars.
Polestar is also opening some boutique-type spaces. They are not regular dealerships, they are places that are designed for the exhibition of a few models but in which the customer completes the purchase process from home. Also VinFast, in its European landing, wants to opt for this path.
And it works with the second hand. Another of the great advantages that this type of business has for the manufacturer is that it maintains a greater number of vehicles in its possession and, in addition, it gives them added value when it comes to selling used cars. Tesla, according to the brand itself, is already in the numbers of the large second-hand concessions in the United States.
The firm does not provide specific data so, as they collect from Electrek, it is difficult to verify the veracity of the information. From the American media they point out that, if true, Tesla would have a second-hand business comparable to giants in the country such as Carvana and AutoNation, valued between four and six billion dollars.
Electrek points out that Tesla’s second hand is found in the company’s accounts under the heading “service and others”, a business that is growing at an exorbitant rate and that only in the last quarter achieved revenues of 1,400 million dollars .
The added value. Alex Liebl, Tesla’s used car quality manager, noted on LinkedIn that one of the benefits of purchasing a used Tesla sold by the brand itself is a guarantee that it “meets the brand’s quality standards.” In other words, the cars are sold as reconditioned products that have the added value that it is the production company itself that has reviewed and updated them.
Renault and Toyota have also chosen to experiment this way. The brands have launched services to renew cars that have been used in lease contracts such as renting and that, after returning to their hands, seek a new life with the guarantee that it is the manufacturer itself that has tuned them.
A car, a lot of business. That the car never ceases to be owned by the brand is another great incentive for manufacturers. If it returns to its plants after a rental agreement, the manufacturer can play better with its production volume and, above all, get a return on a car for very little money with a new sale or rental agreement.
It is something that was also discussed during the presentation of the Mobilize Limo. The Renault Group electric car used by Cabify is still owned by the French. During the press conference, from Renault they pointed out that electric cars are easier (and cheaper) to renew and update, so the firm is interested in being able to do business with them repeatedly, putting the same product back on the market periodically, even after exceeding 200,000 kilometres.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism