CDK Global Connect 2018

Machine learning, car rentals, transportation services & new profit centres – key future trends in the automotive industry, according to AMENA

Change in the GCC car buying customer – key discussion topic at CDK Global Connect 2018 – a digital transformation themed workshop held in Dubai

Dubai, UAE: 30 October 2018: The rise of machine learning and advanced sensor technologies, the shift of customer transactions from ownership to rentals and subscriptions, the reorganisation of an industry from selling cars to managing transportation assets and, the rapid redistribution of profits from sales to new profit centers, are the future trends in the automotive industry, according to an expert from AMENA – the only Automotive Association for the Middle East and North Africa.

Alan Whaley, Founder and Chairman at AMENA spoke about the future of Artificial Intelligence (AI) at a recent digital transformation themed workshop held in Dubai and hosted by CDK Global – the leading-Dealer Management software provider for the global automotive retail industry.

Commenting on the power of AI, Whaley said: “Vehicles in the future will be equipped with a wide number of internal and external sensors feeding AI that will be able to detect cognitive and emotional state of cabin occupants, through which every journey can be tailor-made, from background music, to route preference, inside temperature, cabin fragrance etc.”

CDK Global Connect is an annual event that focuses on automotive retailing. The one-day event was attended by key speakers from CDK Global who spoke about the company’s strategy, product highlights and vision for the automotive industry.

They were joined by Eleni Kitra, Global Sales, Head of Financial Services & Automotive, MENA, at Facebook who addressed delegates about the importance of building the engine on the Facebook family of apps to generate sales for your brand along with Pierre De Feuardant, Business Development Manager, Middle East and North Africa at Google MENA who spoke about the change in the GCC car buying customer behaviour.

Commenting on customer behaviour in the GCC, De Feuardant said: “Our research suggests that digital is the way forward, especially in the GCC car buying process. Furthermore, it takes car buyers in the GCC 900+ digital touchpoints to buy a car, with 67% of UAE buyers not loyal to a specific brand. The car buying process also varied according to each country with buyers in the UAE making a purchase within two weeks, while 71% in Kuwait will buy a car within two months with 53% of the dealership visits happening in the third month of the car buying process.

“However, the same percentage are willing to buy from a dealer who they had no relationship with in the past. This poses as a challenge for dealers who are eager to win customers back. Hence it’s essential for dealers to compare, understand and monitor the contribution of each media to driving sales.”he added

Additional reports from Google MENA suggested that online research is the first and most important part of the car buying process for UAE buyers with 38% investing time in doing a thorough research about the new car they will buy, while 57% will start their research with a query.

Voice search associates with this trend, enabling demanding buyers to explore newer concepts on the go. 82% of buyers considered YouTube as the primary destination to watch videos about cars while 89% felt the platform showcased independent and credible viedoes about cars.

Janne Kilpeläinen, General Manager – Middle East at CDK Global, said: “At CDK Global we understand that the industry is changing rapidly, and in a changing industry our role also needs to change. Hence we’re making an effort to develop a flexible retail operating platform to connect manufacturers, dealers, our partners and consumers. This platform would focus on digitalisation of automotive workflows that would ultimately create a seamless consumer experience.”

CDK Global invests heavily in research and development, identifying the challenges faced by automotive retailers all over the world to help them improve their service. CDK Global’s integrated DMS technology allows dealer groups to create a consistently high customer experience across all sites.

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