The Digital Drivetrain
The automotive world's transition into the age of digital media

The Automotive Social Network?

I have discussed the potential for cars themselves having a twitter or their own social network, but I recently discovered a very similar type of website that already exists. Many automotive vendors and experts are turning to blogs and social networks to discuss their trade and collaborate their opinions and send them to the manufacturer. There are significant amounts of these websites out there with the major competitors being Dealerelite, Auto Dealer People and Automotive Digital Marketing. Through exploring these websites I have founds a few pros and cons to dealers and vendors linking together.

The biggest pro is the potential for communication between the dealers and the automotive industries. Who knows what people want in their cars more than dealers? I am sure that 50% of what the actual salespeople here are complaints about the customers old cars and their desires for a new car. If the dealers were to link together and complile these desires they could communicate them to the manufacturer much more efficiently than an ordinary person. They are the direct line to the manufacturer and their opinion is much more valuable to the eyes of the companies. Much of the discussion on these forums pertains about complains with the inventory and suggestions for improvements on warranties and the construction of their cars.

One thing that could potentially become problematic would be the dealers communicating in a way which would rip off the customers. Although there are things such as anti-trust laws in place, over the web dealers could communicate and raise their prices in unison, a technically legal thing. If all the dealers in an area bound together and raised their prices in order to improve profits it could cause prices to skyrocket. A simple “I can charge this much for this car” thread on one of these websites could let other dealers know how much people are willing to pay for car X and cause prices to skyrocket.

Long story short, there are some risks with automotive dealers networking online, but overall there has been no problems with it so far and I am for it.


One Response to “The Automotive Social Network?”

  1. Nice post. Definitely hear you about the anti trust issue but I would imagine that the negative backlash that could result from something like that going public could be enough of a deterrent to keep a check on it.

    The increased communication between the dealership and the manufacturers/parts industry would definitely be nice- like you said, the dealers and repair techs are the guys that knows the complaints and problems so they should def be listened to by the heads of the companies!

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