How Connectivity Will Affect Future Car Ownership
More consumer options may create more competition in sharing economy
In much the same way that “connectivity” and “biometrics” have wormed their way into the car rental lexicon, enter what will likely be one of the most popular colloquialism to be bandied about in the industry. It’s “customer-centricity” and just like it implies, will double as a mission statement for all participating companies moving forward.
Customer centricity will basically place the customer at the center of everything that involves a person dealing with a rental car company. And with what’s being promised by all concerned, it may even help decide once and for all whether consumers will even both owning a car in the near future.
A recent think piece by Paul Stacy, a director at tech-oriented business analytics firm LexisNexis Risk Solutions, indicates that with the options being put forward by fleet-oriented companies, customers face more options than ever before. For example, connectivity data collected so far on cars equipped with that internet-based technology has given dealerships enough information to either buy the car outright, opt for what is called a Personal Contract Purchase (PCP) which enables customer to pay for the actual use of the car (data from connectivity would track that usage) or subscribe to use a vehicle with the option to renew or stop at the end of each month.
Stacy also hints that increasing data being dug up via connectivity will create even more options for consumers who are in a greater position than ever before to want even more options.
“The fact that some Ford drivers in the US can now pre-order a Starbucks drive-thru coffee, using Amazon’s voice activated Alexa service shows what is achievable through connected car technology and telematics as well as what consumers will start to expect and increasingly demand,” wrote Stacy.
The heightened power of the customer is something that the rental car industry has already taken to heart as evidenced by at least two major companies offering subscriptions and others upgrading their apps to allow more account management by a loyal consumer base. Additionally, focusing more on the customer promises to be a central topic being addressed at this year’s International Car Rental Show.
Given that the world is still tinkering with the embryonic stages of what is called the sharing economy, whoever grabs that coveted spot in the driver’s seat to get the benefits of that new movement will be a race worth witnessing. With automakers already planning to diversify the ways a customer can take advantage of their products, it’s going to be a more competitive market indeed.