ICDP managing director Steve Young has asserted that the agency retail model is the “most water-tight” way to deliver the omnichannel retail experience that modern car buyers expect.
In the latest episode of the AM News Show Podcast, Young debated the key challenges currently gripping the car retail sector and revealed insight into investigations carried out into the prospects of the agency model finding favour with car manufacturers including Stellantis, Mercedes-Benz, Lotus Cars and the Volkswagen Group.
Young joined Perrys Motor Sales managing director Darren Ardron and the director of the Centre for Automotive Management at Loughborough University’s Business School and IMI president Prof Jim Saker on the podcast.
And he explained that, as OEMs and retailers shift ever-more towards meeting customers’ demands for choice, omnichannel retail is likely to come hand-in-hand with the agency model.
“Omnichannel is the given. You have not option but to do omnichannel,” said Young. “That’s what customers want, that’s what they’re used to in many other purchases they make – that they can use physical or digital they can flick backwards and forwards between the two whenever they want. That’s a seamless journey.
“A seamless journey implies that you’ve got sharing of data, that processes are properly integrated, that your objectives are aligned, and agency happens to be a good way, and the most water-tight way – short of going completely direct like Tesla – of delivering omnichannel.”
OEMs are still split on their approach to the future of their car retail operations.
Suzuki GB director of automobile, Dale Wyatt, is vocal in his opposition of the agency model and Kia Motor UK president and chief executive Paul Philpott told AM that he has no plans to implement it.
But others are taking a more open-minded view, with Honda UK managing director Jean Marc Streng among those keeping an open mind.
In Young’s AM News Show podcast interview, he debates the potential benefits of the move, along with the potential impact it could have on the make-up of the UK car retail sector.
Young also joined a joint discussion – exploring a range of industry topics – with Ardron and Saker during his time on the show.
The AM News Show Podcast is available via Youtube, Spotify and Apple Podcasts, and recorded at Armchair Marketing’s Northampton HQ.