DEALERSHIP SUCCESS: 3 Trends Shaping The Commercial Vehicle Industry
The landscape of the commercial vehicle industry is rapidly evolving, with cutting-edge technologies and new energy alternatives driving the industry into uncharted territories. Evident trends among these changes are the rise of electric vehicles (EVs), the expansion of propane-fed Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles, and the incorporation of connected technology utilizing Artificial Intelligence (AI).
A notable trend reshaping the commercial vehicle industry is the increasing popularity of EVs, particularly in the light-duty category. Urban areas, where final-mile deliveries are commonplace, are witnessing a surge in EV adoption. This trend is propelled by numerous benefits of EVs, such as reduced emissions, lower maintenance costs, and favorable government policies. However, their introduction into medium and heavy-duty segments remains sluggish, primarily due to their relatively high upfront cost and limited range.
Another trend influencing the commercial vehicle industry is the growing interest and deployment of propane-fed ICE vehicles in the medium-duty category. Propane technology has withstood the test of time and is proving to be a dependable alternative to traditional fuels. Propane vehicles also guarantee lower emissions than their counterparts, contributing to environmental sustainability. There is an increasing investment in infrastructure to accommodate the growth of propane-fueled vehicles, lending more credence to their rise in the commercial vehicle market.
The commercial vehicle industry is leaning into the possibilities offered by connected technology backed by Artificial Intelligence. Two significant areas benefitting from this development include:
Harnessing big data can lead to substantial productivity improvement. Fleet management systems, energy management solutions, and improved navigation modules can streamline operations and optimize resource allocation. These solutions assist in decision-making processes, fostering a more efficient utilization of resources and driving the industry’s growth.
Predictive maintenance, powered by smart technology, influences service status, vehicle health monitoring, remote diagnostics, and service history. This innovation can significantly reduce vehicle downtime by enabling companies to proactively address maintenance needs, which leads to more significant operational efficiency. This proactive approach extends the vehicle’s lifespan and decreases long-term maintenance costs.
As the commercial vehicle industry continues to innovate and adapt, these trends signify significant shifts in operation and outlook. By understanding how these developments impact the end users of work trucks and vans, dealers can better connect with their customers and position themselves as a valuable resource for vehicle management. With new technologies, dealers can provide an enhanced service experience that keeps commercial truck and van companies running smoothly.
Dealers can benefit by understanding these trends and offering products that capitalize on the needs of their commercial vehicle customers. The more they can meet the needs of customers, the more likely those customers will be to return for future purchases and also recommend your dealership to others.
Commercial vehicle dealers themselves must embrace the same trend toward technological solutions that compel their commercial customers. Digital tools have evolved considerably in the last ten years, and the trend among successful dealerships is to leverage an industry-specific CRM with integrated marketing and analytic tools to increase efficiency and profitability.
I’ll leave you with one parting thought. Regardless of trends or technological achievements, dealerships must always be mindful of the need to provide a high-quality experience for their customers. Yes, our industry is fiercely competitive, and dealerships must employ adequate tools to meet the needs of commercial vehicle customers. Still, good relationships and trust are the foundation of a successful dealership. So, as you consider how to stay ahead of the curve and provide an exceptional customer experience, remember that it’s not just about technology—it’s about people, too!