DEALING WITH THE SUSPICIOUS CONSUMER

By: Jeff Fallowfield, F&I Columnist
President of Distribution & Marketing, LGM Financial Services

For decades, the North American International Auto Show in Detroit has served as the hallmark event for the automotive industry – an opportunity for car companies to unveil their latest concept creations and upstage their competitors in innovation and ingenuity.

The usual level of fanfare surrounded the 2016 show this past January, with notable debuts including the LC 500 by Lexus and the new Genesis luxury brand by Hyundai. President Obama even paid a visit to the iconic Cobo Center for the first time to take in all the excitement and reflect on his $85 billion bailout several years on.

Despite these highlights, much of the media commentary in the days that followed focused on the fact that many automotive companies reserved their major announcements for the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, held just a few days earlier. Whether it was Kia’s Drive Wise fleet of partially and fully autonomous vehicles or Volkswagen’s electric minivan, CES 2016 was most definitely the hot-ticket event.

Many industry experts pointed to the success of CES 2016 as evidence of big changes in the automotive industry. With the rise of other American cities as auto epicentres, along with the slow dethroning of Detroit as the undisputed Motor City, it also showcased the rapid change in consumer behaviour. After all, we’re in the digital age and it’s time that the automotive sector adapts accordingly.