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Coronavirus crisis has advanced motor industry digitisation by five years

The coronavirus crisis has “pushed forward digitisation of the motor industry by probably five years”.

ASE Global told VRA members that key elements of the motor industry had gone digital during the pandemic

That was one of the key message at this week’s Vehicle Remarketing Association member meeting; part of a series of webinars to keep members abreast of the latest developments in the pandemic.

Held yesterday (1 July), the webinar included an address from Mike Jones of ASE Global who said that all key elements of the digitisation of the sector had been accelerated over the last few months.

“Whichever aspect you examine, from retail to delivery, there has been a marked shift online. Probably the only major trend that has suffered is mobility services, because of the need to share assets such as through car and ride sharing. Everything else has advanced.”

He added that what the industry was now seeing was “genuine omni-channel retailing. Arguably, we have even become a digital-first sector in a very short period of time.”

The second speaker was Lee Swinerd, managing director – advisory at KPMG, who covered the broader economic picture in the motor industry and said two key factors – job losses and consumer confidence – would influence the speed of post-lockdown economic recovery over the next few months.

“The lesson to be drawn from elsewhere in the world is that, while there are a minority of the public that flout the rules on social distancing and other infection risk factors, there is a silent majority who are more cautious. Just because a shop or a dealership is open, it doesn’t mean that those people will use it. The Government needs them to become more economically active,” he added.

The final speaker was Dr Justin Varney, director of public health at Birmingham City Council, who looked at the likely development of the coronavirus situation over the next few months.

“Generally, the question is not whether there will be a second spike but when it will happen, where, and its degree of seriousness. Much of this depends on how the whole country follows basic guidance such as social distance and hand washing.

“Certainly, employers in the motor industry have their part to play and I would urge everyone to make sure that they are following the latest advice and ensuring that a high degree of compliance is maintained. Everyone has a part to play in controlling infection.”

For more of the latest industry news, click here.

Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.