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Automotive & Mobility: Facing the Unprecedented

By Katelyn Davis, Director

It is safe to say that the events of this year have significantly impacted the automotive and mobility industry. With the future of the industry in question, many analysts look to trends of the past to predict the future of mobility. Though many questions remain, it is essential to acknowledge the industry shift—both as a consumer, OEM and supplier. Is this the end of the industry as we know it?

The unprecedented change caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped the industry in its entirety. Many areas of mobility have faced upheavals, such as shared mobility programs and public transit. As individuals quarantine in their homes, consumer behavior and expectations shift—many of these shifts are expected to stay, even as we revisit a sense of normalcy.

To elaborate on the pandemic’s effects on the automotive landscape and the future of transportation, Lambert hosted a panel of national automotive and mobility professionals for a live roundtable.

Moderated by Lambert’s Senior Director Brent Snavely, hosted by iSeeCars.com Executive Analyst Karl Brauer, rebeccadrives.com Analyst and Founder, Rebecca Lindland and Gartner Vice President and Analyst Mike Ramsey to discuss key trends and the future of automotive and mobility.

During this expert roundtable, the analysts expanded upon automotive and mobility trends of 2020, COVID-19 implications and the future of the industry. Here are some of the key takeaways:

Current State of Auto Industry

The pandemic has revolutionized how individuals go about their day-to-day lives. Many continue to abstain from using public transit and have purchased their own vehicles for use. This decline in commutes has in turn increased used vehicle demand. Subsequently, professionals are reconfiguring business strategies to optimize new sales channels. Though the used car market has been flooded with buyers, fleet vehicles have seen a significant hit. The industry is ever-changing, and analysts anticipate how the presidential election may affect the future of automotive for years to come.

Lessons Learned: Unprecedented Shutdown of Auto Industry

Many automotive professionals feared a global financial crisis as early as spring when COVID-19 heightened in the United States. By utilizing lessons learned from the 2008 recession, many OEM’s and suppliers pivoted swiftly in comparison. This flexibility had a considerable impact on the industry, both financially and production-wise. The effects of the pandemic undoubtedly influenced purchasing behavior, leaving dealers with one major business environment—the digital landscape.

Revisiting “Normal”: Future of Mobility

Digital retailing is here to stay. The all-in-one sales experience has set a new precedent that is expected, and consequently, demanded by today’s consumers. Although convenient, digital retailing typically boasts a higher price, particularly in comparison to a traditional dealer. Many mobility service providers have also shifted their approach to business. By turning to logistics and supply chain tactics, providers have found niches in evolving areas that anticipate growth. As automotive moves toward all-electric vehicles, convenience, charging infrastructure and cost remain a heavy focus. Ultimately, the future of the automotive and mobility industry will greatly depend on economic revival post-COVID-19.