As indicated in several previous Insights, the Italian car market is unique in several ways. To get still another perspective we talked to Gilberto Brecciaroli, active in the automotive business since 1994, now Automotive Sales & Operations Manager at For Dealer. The company provides a range of car dealer services across Italy.
Ciao Gilberto. What kind of services do For Dealer provide?
We offer, for example, predictive 48 months maintenance plans from the delivery of the used car to the consumer. Until now we only work with car dealers, but we have ongoing dialogs with several manufacturers for them to provide certain consumer services, as well.
Now, let’s talk about the Italian car market... How would you describe the overall situation for car dealers in Italy today?
Car dealers in Italy are going through an extremely complex transformation but is also full of opportunities. I do not see a real interest on the part of car dealers in electric mobility, but rather the obligation to look at a necessary ecological transition. And, like in other countries that issue is still full of unknowns.
Personally, I believe that there will be a duel between electric and hydrogen power. The competition between these two alternatives will contribute to the rapid development of both technologies.
What about dealership challenges?
As far as car dealers are concerned, their biggest problem is to source used cars at prices that allow them to do business. That will be more and more difficult for them.
I heard that some 50 percent of used car sales are private, consumer-to-consumer. That’s a huge chunk of the dealers’ potential business ...
This is a very interesting issue, indeed! In this historical moment the share of used car sales between private individuals has actually surpassed the share of used car sales from dealer to private. So, it’s even more than 50 percent.
The reasons are manifold. The first is certainly the desire on the part of the consumer to make a greater economic profit.
No less important is that, very often, the dealers' warranties do not respond correctly to the wear and tear that the customer's car has suffered. And furthermore, all customers don’t want to engage with a dealer for financing the car.
So, what are dealers doing to regain market share?
Today? Nothing! A better question is: What could they do?
They could, for example, learn from what real estate agents have been doing for over 30 years: brokerage! They have allowed many people, often former used car sellers, to open shops offering used car brokerage services between individuals.
A broker can provide valuable services and guarantees for both the buyer and the seller within an organized structure, such as the dealer.
Is your own company doing anything special to promote or support dealer sales as opposed to private sales?
The point is not to oppose the sale of used cars between individuals but to favor their sale with the indispensable support of the dealer to individuals. Not against but together.
For Dealer in partnership with Web Industry is carrying out an ambitious project aimed at used car dealers. The idea is to promote the sale of used cars between private individuals within the dealerships and to promote maximum transparency in the acquisition, proposal and sale process.