Interesting article from Lesniak Swann discussing Hyundai’s decision to launch its ‘click to buy’ service (check it out here). This is another example of ‘disintermediation’ whereby manufacturers sell directly to consumers and potentially eliminate their physical distribution network, or service providers see direct (as in the travel industry).
Historically intermediaries delivered services that consumers need. In the automotive industry, car dealerships provided potential customers with product information, a range of purchase/lease payment options, and post purchase servicing of the vehicle. In short dealers added value.
Today however, there is much less value in visiting a car showroom. Most, if not all, of the information the customer may want is available online. Mercedes have even stopped printing brochures. Lesniak Swann (2017) suggest that Hyundai have the least to lose from ‘click to buy’ as they have a relatively small dealer network and share of the UK market. Moreover the dealerships will not disappear altogether as they shift from being a place to select cars, as a place to finance car purchase and to care for the vehicle post-sale.