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Systems Integration is Key to Success as OEM & Dealer Roles Shift in the Car Buying Experience

Systems Integration is Key to Success as OEM & Dealer Roles Shift in the Car Buying Experience

Volvo assures dealers will retain control over the customer relationship as Volvo shifts to selling EVs online, but that more DMS integration is necessary

Today, consumers increasingly expect an online buying experience, and car manufacturers (OEMs) are stepping up their role in the car buying process to help answer the call.   

Initial offerings, such as Stellantis’s E-Shop, allow consumers to schedule test drive appointments and participate in online chat. Eventually, OEM sites may allow the consumer a more holistic online experience including getting a trade-in value, lending options; submitting paperwork and scheduling home delivery through select or participating dealerships.

Last week, Automotive News featured Volvo’s plans to shift to an online-only, factory-set price sales model of its EV vehicles.   Volvo Car USA CEO Anders Gustafsson assures that dealers will maintain customer relationships. “As much as we work together today, we will work in the future.  But we need to do it faster, and we need to integrate our systems so we can sell cars faster with less selling cost.”  

While the article focused on the tension being drawn between “mixed messages” Volvo may be signaling, one thing is true – no OEM or dealer will be successful if the consumer doesn’t have a positive buying experience.  As long as both the OEM and dealer are involved, a positive, seamless customer experience can only be delivered with precise systems integration.  Whatever and wherever data is being passed between the dealer and OEM along the buying journey, it must be accurate, complete and in real-time.