Leading dealer management software provider, CDK Global hosted an enlightening workshop on October 22 that covered potent topics of the automotive industry such as machine learning and advanced sensor technologies, the shift of customer transactions from ownership to rentals and subscriptions, the reorganisation of an industry from selling cars to managing transportation assets and, the rapid redistribution of profits from sales to new profit centers.
Alan Whaley Founder and Chairman at AMENA explained his views on the future of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Commenting on the power of AI, Whaley said: “Vehicles in the future will be equipped with a wide number of internal and external sensors feeding AI that will be able to detect cognitive and emotional state of cabin occupants, through which every journey can be tailor-made, from background music to route preference, inside temperature, cabin fragrance etc.”
The annual event that is held in Dubai primarily focusses on automotive retailing. This year's event saw the presence of some of the key speakers from CDK Global who spoke about the company's strategy, product highlights and vision for the automotive industry.
The speakers for event were also joined by Eleni Kitra Global Sales, Head of Financial Services & Automotive, MENA, at Facebook who addressed delegates about the importance of building the engine on the Facebook family of apps to generate sales for your brand along with Pierre De Feuardant, Business Development Manager, Middle East and North Africa at Google MENA who spoke about the change in the GCC car buying customer behaviour.
“Our research suggests that digital is the way forward, especially in the GCC car buying process. Furthermore, it takes car buyers in the GCC 900+ digital touchpoints to buy a car, with 67% of UAE buyers not loyal to a specific brand. The car buying process also varied according to each country with buyers in the UAE making a purchase within two weeks, while 71% in Kuwait will buy a car within two months with 53% of the dealership visits happening in the third month of the car buying process.” De Feuardant said
“However, the same percentage are willing to buy from a dealer whom they had no relationship with in the past. This poses as a challenge for dealers who are eager to win customers back. Hence it's essential for dealers to compare, understand and monitor the contribution of each media to driving sales,” he added.
Google MENA who spoke at the event cited reports that suggested that online research was the first and the most important part of the car buying process for UAE buyers with 38 per cent investing time in doing a pre-hand research about the car they will buy. Meanwhile, 57 per cent will start their research with a query.
Janne Kilpel¤inen, General Manager - Middle East at CDK Global, said: “At CDK Global we understand that the industry is changing rapidly, and in a changing industry our role also needs to change. Hence we're making an effort to develop a flexible retail operating platform to connect manufacturers, dealers, our partners and consumers. This platform would focus on digitalisation of automotive workflows that would ultimately create a seamless consumer experience.”