There are plenty of so-called disruptors, smaller technology companies looking to eat our lunch and, as an industry, we cannot afford to sit back and do nothing
ALPHERA Financial Services has launched its hard-hitting report ‘Financing the Car of the Future’ with a warning of the disruption threat to car finance industry from outsiders.
The first in a series of six thought-provoking chapters – ‘Vehicles that run on alternative fuels: negotiating a changing landscape’ – is part of its commitment to ensure maximum industry involvement in the project.
With the full ‘Financing the Car of the Future’ study scheduled for publication in November 2016, a further five chapters will be delivered over the course of the year.
Themes will include connected vehicles, customer behaviour, online relationships, regulation and a review of the past decade in motor finance – connected to Alphera’s milestone celebration of 10 years in the UK market.
Alongside describing the future-focused project, Alphera UK director Spencer Halil took the opportunity to urge the industry to take a more proactive and dynamic approach to managing disruption.
He cautioned that new entrant disruptors could create a sales process which leaves the dealer on the outside if the established organisations don’t take action.
Halil commented: “The automotive retail sector continues to innovate and invest; however, while a lot has been said about treating the customer fairly, the pace of change in some areas has not always been as quick as the regulator or, more importantly, the customer would like.
“Looking forward, we have the opportunity to firmly position car finance as transparent, accessible and customer-friendly – proactively sharing information with potential customers about how products are marketed.
“As an industry, it is vital that we are looking to the future, anticipating customer trends and building an awareness of the regulation that might be coming down the road.
“There are plenty of so-called disruptors, smaller technology companies looking to eat our lunch and, as an industry, we cannot afford to sit back and do nothing.
“Whether we are partnering with innovators to provide momentum and pace to the digitisation of the sales process, opening our business processes to even greater scrutiny by customers and the regulator or developing brand new models which keep the dealer network at the heart of automotive retail, it is clear that we need to be working to shape the pace and direction of change.”
Alphera was joined by speakers including Andy Eastlake of the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership and Paul Clarke from GreenCarGuide.com.
Together, they highlighted the market opportunity for ultra low emission vehicles and the steps that need to be taken as the finance landscape develops beyond subsidy. Daniel Dowling, Industry Manager for Automotive Brands at Google UK, also took to the floor as part of a discussion around consumer trends in online search and finance.
Gerry Kouris, marketing manager at Alphera Financial Services UK, added: “We operate in a highly dynamic and fast-paced industry where influential factors such as technology, compliance, customer trends and macroeconomics determine the performance and expectations.
“With the thought leadership project, we aim to challenge ourselves and our industry partners to look into the future and act proactively. The aim should always be to provide innovative and sustainable solutions for the end customer.”
Click for a copy of Vehicles that run on alternative fuels: negotiating a changing landscape.