Getting Ahead: Tips for Adapting to Disruption in Auto Retail – a CarGurus Panel Discussion

Tips for Adapting to Disruption in Auto Retail - a CarGurus Panel Discussion


A word that may or may not be overused in the automotive industry, but a reality that everyone in the industry is up against. From selling cars to sourcing them, mobile service vans and financing, many aspects of the auto retail business have become prone to disruption due to the advanced acceleration of technology and evolving consumer expectations.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic in early 2020, there was a lot of talk and pressure on auto retailers to be introducing digital retailing technology and give customers more choices and control over the transactional car shopping process. But as usual, many many dealers in the space were holding out.

My estimates are that fewer than 25% of dealers had implemented digital retailing technology into their car buying process prior to the start of 2020, compared with probably at least 50% today.

Is this any way to “get ahead” in the automotive space? To wait around for major events that force you to adapt and change? Is that serving your customer?

On the contrary, there is no business like the car business, like a dealership which has little to no incentive to adapt and change too soon. It’s too risky and arguably unnecessary.

Until, it’s too late and your dealership is now lagging behind on technology, process, and delighting customers.

And so we ask ourselves…how do we get ahead? As dealers. As auto retailers. What are some ways to adapt to disruption? To minimize the risk of adapting too soon or the wrong way? To hedge our bets in a timely fashion to avoid obsolescence and falling behind, but not prematurely?

These are the evasive, difficult questions we seek to answer in the upcoming panel discussion I am moderating called Getting Ahead on Wednesday October 13th at this year’s CarGurus Navigate 21 Summit featuring:

As digital retail tactics continue to explode onto the scene, new mobility offerings arise, and the impact of COVID-19 lingers, the future of auto retail has quickly become a hot topic for most in the industry. This panel discussion brings together forward-thinking auto industry experts to talk about what’s in store for the automotive industry. You’ll walk away energized about the future—and with some tips for getting ahead of trends now.

Join Us and Save $$$ at CarGurus Navigate 21 – Where Automotive Insights Meet Action

Navigate is a new kind of auto conference designed to help you ignite personal and professional growth. It’s not about vendors pitching their products. It’s about stepping back from the day-to-day grind—at least for a few hours—over three days of actionable workshops and inspiring keynotes you won’t see anywhere else.

Get Free Registration and Save $99 with Our Promo Code

As part of this year’s sponsorship, AutoConversion fans and members can register free using our promo code RYAN99. That’s a $99 savings (per ticket) to attend this 3-day virtual event for auto retail owners and operators, auto sales and marketing teams, used car managers and merchandising staff.


About the Author

Ryan Jeffrey Gerardi
Ryan Jeffrey Gerardi is Chief Editor of AutoConverse Magazine and Executive Producer and Host of the AutoConverse Podcast and Live Weekly Webcast called the Mobility Tech & Connectivity Show, or MTC Show. He is also Founder & President of AutoConversion with nearly 20 years experience in the transportation space. Ryan concentrates his efforts today on exploring people, ideas, and technologies related to how we get around and how we are connected, being a father and studying Taoism and Wu Wei.