The Perception of Future Challenges by German, Speaking, Polish and Italian Automotive Dealers
C. Stadlmann, S. Cardinali, M. Skurczyński - The Perception of Future Challenges by German, Speaking, Polish and Italian Automotive Dealers - Proceedings Cross-Cultural Conference 2013, Steyr, Österreich, 2013, pp. 147-156
The automotive distribution industry is often a benchmark for other industries and adopts innovative management skills in the small and medium sized enterprises through which vehicles and parts are distributed. Currently, economic and environmental concerns are strongly influencing customer needs and forcing dealers to adapt to rapid changes in the market place. Indeed, the European market is struggling heavily although the registration of new vehicles has increased worldwide in 2013. Especially the Southern European countries have been confronted with a tremendously reduced demand. Besides these difficult circumstances the sales channels, i.e. automotive dealers, are confronted with further challenging topics like green mobility, Web 2.0, generational changes, Basel III, vehicle use versus ownership etc. This changing environment requires broader knowledge and new skills in the dealer management. One prerequisite for reaction in management is the awareness and recognition of difficulties and the understanding that countermeasures have to be set. Therefore, this paper aims to identify automotive dealer management skill deficiencies from the perspective of automotive dealers, i.e. car and motorcycle dealers. An empirical study of nearly 200 dealers has been conducted in Austria, Germany, Poland and Italy in order to understand the necessary skills for future success in dealer management. The findings are that traditional business approaches still dominate their way of business and new services as well as necessary skills for coping with new challenges and offering these services are not perceived as important for the dealers. Differences between the markets and the sectors are worked out and give hints where dealers could learn from each other as best practices.