Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 13

CANADA CONGRESS

* MARCH 2020

13

A retail panel offered contrasting
perspectives on the importance of
technology as a sales tool. From left,
Automotive News Canada Editor-in-Chief
Jeff Melnychuk, Louis-Yves Cloutier,
Jim McManes, Tammy Roach,
Trent Hargrave and Michael Norris.
P H O T O S : G I A N C A R L O PA W E L E C

.

n

e
of

o

,
s

w,"

'CHOICE MEANS REVOLUTION'

Dealers are staring down
the barrel of a shift to
online shopping but
are steadfast that their
businesses still thrive on
personal relationships
By DANA FLAVELLE

TORONTO CORRESPONDENT

THE FUTURE OF AUTOMOTIVE
retailing might be digital but it's far
from clear when, or if, consumers will
eventually buy cars online and whether investing in online sales is paying
off for dealers.
With "major disrupters," such as
Amazon, Kijiji, Ebay, Carvana, Tesla
and even some automakers trying to
sell direct to consumers, franchised
dealerships need to do more than create
a website that promotes their products,
said Louis-Yves Cloutier, chief execu-

tive officer and co-founder of Montrealbased 360 Agency, which helps dealers
develop online shopping.
"The consumer has choice and
choice means revolution," Cloutier
said in his opening remarks.
But car dealers in the subsequent
panel discussion were
RETAIL PANEL
sharply divided on the value of investing in digital
sales.
"A lot of this digital stuff doesn't
make money," said Michael Norris,
dealer principal at Volvo of Edmonton.
"Tesla is losing $1 billion a year."
Norris said his customers -
including younger shoppers - value
the personal touch. "GenX shoppers
want a relationship with the dealer."
Tammy Roach, dealer principal at
Charlottetown Mitsubishi, said she
believes providing online services is
essential to compete.
"If you're not ready digitally,
you're going to be left behind."
The next generation of car buy-

While Tammy Roach of
Charlottetown Mitsubishi said
online services are key to attracting
the next generation of car buyers,
Trent Hargrave of Riverside DodgeChrysler-Jeep-Ram in Prince
Albert, Sask., said dealers are
grappling with delivering a seamless
experience for customers.

ers is younger and more tech savvy,
Cloutier said, noting 40 per cent of car
shoppers in 2020 will be millennials
and 60 per cent will be women.
Dealerships still account for 95 per

cent of automotive sales, he acknowledged, but more consumers are starting their research online and visiting
more than one dealer before making a
final decision.
Trent Hargrave, general manager
of Riverside Dodge, in Saskatchewan,
said it's a challenge for dealers to
track customers across the two sales
channels. "It's one of the biggest struggles we have right now."
Measuring the success of digital
retailing isn't as simple as counting
how many cars are sold online and
whether that means you can lay off a
salesperson, Cloutier said.
Cloutier agreed the technology is
still in its infancy. "It isn't magic. It's
just a tool. It has to be seen the same
way as any other tool."
Jim McManes, owner of McManes
Automotive Group, headquartered
in Calgary, said he tries to create the
same culture online that he maintains
in his dealership. "I want people to
feel appreciated even if they don't do
business with us." - ANC

Taking on the disrupters:
'We do have the high ground'
Online competition
means that dealers need
to seek ways to make
stronger connections
with customers
By JOHN IRWIN
TORONTO BUREAU

TORONTO - TO "MAKE THE
wheels turn" in automotive retail, dealers must continue experimenting with
new online tools and service models to
build crucial relationships with customers, said Hyundai Canada CEO Don
Romano.
Dealers and automakers must also
innovate to keep up with evolving consumer shopping habits and relatively new competitors in the industry,

including Tesla's direct-sales model,
and other online platforms.
"We have to keep experimenting,
but I think the most important thing to
realize, I think,
AUTOMAKER PANEL is that we do
have the high
ground. We're in the best place possible."
Infiniti Canada Managing Director
Adam Paterson said his brand was working to make the car-shopping experience
more flexible and convenient for customers. Infiniti is examining launching an
extended test-drive program that would
allow customers to drive a vehicle they
are interested in as a short-term rental which could be converted into a purchase.
Still, he said Infiniti sees physical
showrooms remaining crucial for the
brand in the immediate future.
"I still don't think most are going to

Bricks-and-mortar showrooms remain crucial in the short term, "but
tomorrow? I think we do have to watch it," said Infiniti Canada Managing
Director Adam Paterson, far right, during a panel discussion that included
(from left) Automotive News Canada Publisher Jason Stein, Volvo's Matt
Girgis and Hyundai's Don Romano. P H O T O : G I A N C A R L O PA W E L E C

transact online exclusively in the short
term. Therefore, is it a huge challenge
today? I'm not sure. But tomorrow? I
think we do have to watch it."
Volvo Canada Managing Director
Matt Girgis said the brand was focused
in large part on improving the customer experience at dealerships, saying the
company is working with its Canadian
stores to figure out how to best serve

potential buyers as shopping habits
shift.
"Customer demands continue to
climb up. We're spending a lot of energy and investment with our retailers
on customer experience ... It's going to
take some time. We've made some very
good progress on it, and now as we go
into 2020, we're going to continue that
journey as well." - ANC



Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2

Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - Intro
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 1
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 2
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 3
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 4
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 5
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 6
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 7
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 8
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 9
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 10
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 11
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 12
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 13
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 14
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 15
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 16
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 17
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 18
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 19
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 20
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 21
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 22
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 23
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 24
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 25
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 26
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 27
Automotive News Canada - March 2020 - v2 - 28
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202402_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202401_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202312_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202311_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202310_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202309_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202308_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202307_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202306_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202305_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202304_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202303_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202302_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202301_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202212_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202211_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202210_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202209_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202208_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202207_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202206_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202205_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202204_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202203_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202202_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202201_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202112_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202111_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202110_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202109_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202108_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202107_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202106_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202105_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202104_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202103_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202102_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202101_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202012_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202011_ifm
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202011_acg
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202011_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202010_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202009_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202008_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202007_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202006_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202005_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202004_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202003_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_202001_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_201912_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_201911_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_201910_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_201909_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_201907_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_201906_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_201904_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_201903_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_201902_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_201901_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_201812_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_201811_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_201810_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_201809_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_201808_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_201807_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_201806_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_201805_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_201804_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_201803_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_201802_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_201801_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_201712_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_201710_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_201709_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_201708_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_201707_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_201706_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_201705_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_201704_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_201701_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_201612_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_201611_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_201610_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_201609_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_201608_v2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/canada_201607_v2
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com