GForces and Autofutura have promised to join the dots of automotive e-commerce as Automotive Transformation Group following the UK tech businesses' merger back in April.
Chief executive Christian Erlandson and chief revenue officer Tim Smith spoke to AM ahead of the official launch of the new business which claims to be facilitating a shift to automotive e-commerce which could generate an additional £2.2 billion profit for automotive retail each year.
Smith said: “The aim is to smooth the online customer journey, to bring all the elements together in a seamless way, to respond to customers changing needs and deliver the process they have come to expect.
“Traditional car retailers have the full range of automotive services at their disposal. They are far better placed to meet customers’ needs than the incoming disruptors that are attracting attention and huge valuations right now.
“We can now ensure that they have the digital tools and the joined-up e-commerce approach they need to compete from a customer convenience point-of view.”
Erlandson said: “I think Cazoo, cinch and carzam have been important in bringing new eyeballs and more awareness of a new space in the market. We want to help our customers keep pace with the change. We’re there to help and we know we can’t go it alone, we need to partner.
“That’s why we need to nurture those relationships with dealerships, financiers and OEMs. They all have a role to play.”
UK-based automotive retail software providers GForces and Autofutura were brought together back in April, with backing from Inflexion Private Equity to create a global business which already serves 20 OEMs and 10,000 car retail locations in 96 countries.
The new group will combine the online retail expertise of automotive e-commerce and omnichannel supplier, GForces with Autofutura’s data-driven business intelligence and the expertise of Chrysalis Loyalty, which was the recently acquired by Autofutura.
Automotive Transformation Group will continue GForce’s message that the wider adoption of e-commerce in car retail can cut the cost of a transaction hugely.
Back in April GForces issued a report which stated that a shift from traditional showroom-based car sales to a wholly-online retail solution would cut dealers cost-per-sale by over 40% - saving the sector over £950m a year.
An essential component is connecting finance data, the core thread of new and used vehicle sales, across all platforms, it said.
Seamlessly integrating this will unlock the barriers to offering a complete ‘omnichannel’ customer experience - blending physical showrooms and the virtual world - from first sale, through aftersales and re-sale.
Automotive Transformation Group said the commercial gains on offer are “vast”.
Based on the 77 million new cars sold across the globe in 2020, with a value of $2.5tr, a 1% shift in ecommerce sales would equate to $25bn (£18bn) in revenue, it said.
And by leveraging its suite of products and services to cut transaction times and reduce sales process costs, the industry could generate an additional £2.2bn per year in global profitability based on an extra £142 per new vehicle sale.
Smith and Erlandson told AM that harnessing customer data to drive retention would be key to the group’s new joined-up approach to e-commerce.
Erlandson said: “We offer something truly unique. By connecting vehicles and consumers, serving the right offer, at the right time, to the right customer and then facilitating the seamless transition from one vehicle to another, we are streamlining the customer journey, right from the first transaction.
“We believe the companies which we support will not just have happier, longer standing customers, they will also be even more successful as a result of the substantial efficiencies they have achieved.”
Automotive Transformation Group already handles one transaction every 3.5 minutes ($4.25bn annually) and has an unrivalled depth of experience and operational scale in the industry.