Delegates at the AADA Convention in early September were treated to some insightful presentations on topics ranging from ROI to F&I. One of the sessions that stood out for many in attendance was the presentation by Andy Koblenz, the Executive Vice President NADA Regulatory Affairs.
We are constantly told that younger generations will forego car ownership in favour of carsharing or ridesharing. In the US NADA became increasingly frustrated that much of the coverage on car ownership was devoid of consumer research, so they commissioned their own.
NADA conducted a survey which oversampled millennials and came back with some interesting results. Respondents were overwhelmingly inclined to keep their own car (89%) and 93% described their car as providing freedom. The research also nonsensed the notion that choosing between car ownership and ridesharing is a binary choice and there was a desire by respondents to keep their own car and make use of ridesharing.
I am not prepared to speculate on what car ownership will look like in the future. I can only speak for myself. I cannot imagine life without my own car. It is always available to me when I need it. Unlike most Ubers or Taxies it has a car seat in the back for my youngest daughter. It has my preferred radio station and is in sync with my mobile phone and all its applications. It is absolutely tailored to my particular circumstances and I enjoy the freedom to go where I want, when I want. There are occasions when I choose to use a taxi or ridesharing service, but that does not detract from my need to own a car. There is an emotional connection I have with my car.
Although I speak to many people that share my view, I do not assume that this is a universally held view. Subscription services, carsharing and ridesharing services – these may grow in prominence in the coming years and Dealers will be well-placed to adjust to these developments. However, if there is one lesson we can learn from NADA is that we should always check with the customer.