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Connected cars 'a huge opportunity for car dealers'

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“The connected car is being seen as a huge opportunity,” said Mike Norridge, senior aftersales product manager, CDK Global, who told delegates at the AM Aftersales Conference that by 2020, more than 90% of new vehicles sold will have some telematics capability.

Over time, he believes this will see the vehicle become part of the dealer management system.

Some carmakers are looking at car connectivity purely for infotainment and navigation, but others see its role in safety and security.

O2, Delphi and Vodafone are already offering on-board diagnostics tools to the independent aftermarket elsewhere in Europe.

Although carmakers will not be able to use telematics to direct a car back into their network following detection of an accident, Norridge believes manufacturers will use their IT to gain control of the customer and who they choose.

The dealer in this scenario is almost being bypassed, relegated to the role of an agent, he said.

CDK has been working with BMW to support its connected car programme. From this year, all new BMWs are enabled for connectivity, although the customer has to register to activate the service and use an app that can track battery life, where the car is parked, and even turn the car’s lights on and off.

If telematics report that the vehicle is due a service, a call centre contacts the customer to book it in, but there is no integration between the call centre and the franchised network.

CDK has worked on solutions, based on its Service Online product, that talk directly to the DMS, and will book that service in and send an email reminder to the customer.

“It’s safety around the clock. It’s rapid and accurate assistance for all electrical malfunctions,” said Norridge.

“It’s going to increase customer satisfaction, by making it easy to deal with the dealer. It allows the best preparation for the workshop, as the parts can be pre-picked, and it makes the dealer more efficient.”

AM Aftersales Conference 2015

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