Talking Points: Virtual Reality, Millennials and Family Cars

Once a week (or so), we take a look at interesting surveys, stories and perspectives about the business of buying and selling cars.

It’s a Virtually Real Experience

At this point we all know that consumers go online to shop for a car. But would they also test drive a car online, and make a buying decision based on that virtual experience? A recent study conducted by eBay found that 43 percent of those surveyed said, well, “sure,” meaning that they would consider using Virtual Reality to test drive a vehicle. The survey also found that car shoppers were more skeptical of Augmented Reality (AR), which indicates an either-or-scenario and not a blend of the two. There’s no doubt that as technology evolves, shopping preferences will change…and smart dealerships will adjust to that “reality.” Read Joe Overby’s post at Auto Remarketing for more.

The No Sedan Zone?

When it comes to families, sedans are out – completely. At least that’s the recent finding from the experts at Kelley Blue Book. Their annual Top 12 list includes all sorts of SUVs and minivans…but not a single sedan, not even a Honda Accord or a Chevy Impala. “Looking at sales trends, soccer field parking lots and school drop-off lines, it’s clear that families have moved on from the family sedan, and now the modern family car is an SUV,” said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book. “As SUVs have grown more comfortable and fuel-efficient over the years, car shoppers have demonstrated an increasing preference for the elevated driving position, superior cargo versatility and higher profile of SUVs, which make them more functional as family cars than traditional sedans.” Get the list and read more about the top family cars at kbb.com.

Dealers Debate the Future

It goes without saying that anyone involved in automotive retail is very, very interested in a number of critical issues regarding future changes to the market. How will the CFPB change? Will sales decline, plateau or increase for yet another year? How will Millennials reshape the industry? A recent DrivingSales survey and community post, claims that a few of the “hottest topics” include Millennials (they like to research and want a fluid sales process) and large online retailers (a potential retail threat to local dealerships). Even though survey details weren’t available, it’s an interesting collection of perspectives on the evolution of automotive retail. Read Maddy Low’s DrivingSales post here.