Customer experiences and new tech—enough to keep dealerships relevant?

New customer services coupled with technologies such as augmented reality mean that despite challenges, it would be unwise to write off the dealership just yet. By Xavier Boucherat

Are car dealerships facing something of an existential crisis? Car buyers are turning to the internet to conduct research traditionally done on the dealership forecourt, and those gleaming lots which characterise the outskirts of cities all over the world have registered reduced footfall over the last several years. Indeed, studies by KPMG suggest that fully online vehicle purchases will only increase as time goes on, with 75% of UK automotive executives alone believing that up to 50% of physical dealerships could disappear by 2025.

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