Automotive brands are taking decisive action to ensure they are well-placed to profit from a rapidly-changing marketplace. Brands from across the world are adapting to increasingly digital customer journeys, alongside changing patterns of use and ownership, as a new generation of vehicles emerges to cater for consumers adapting life in a pandemic.
Head of digital at Audi UK, Antony Roberts, believes the relationship between consumers and automotive brands is in the early stages of a period of extensive change – in part because the wider sector has been slow to adapt to what customers want.
The change is being accelerated by dealing with the twin challenges of the move to electrification and the restrictions caused by Covid. Lockdown has hit the sector hard, with showrooms closed and many cars unused as commutes are ditched in favour of working from home. New car sales in 2020 dropped by 29% to 1.63 million, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).
“It has forced us to be a bit more introspective and remind us what’s really important, and that is ensuring that we have a good relationship with our customers and that, in this changing world, we are giving them what they want,” says Roberts.