Car Dealer Magazine interview with David Shapiro, CEO, AutoProtect on FCA regulations

AutoProtect: Delivering thoughts on the year ahead

Date: Wed 28th January 2015   |   Author: Natalie Ridgwell | Google+

January 2015 is at an end, and at AutoProtect HQ we’ve been discussing what we expect to see in the industry in the months to come. We’ve narrowed it down to a few key points – and here with the help of David Shapiro, AutoProtect’s CEO, we can present them to you today.

Digitisation of the market

This is something facing every business, and we need to be aware of it to ensure customers can find all the information they need about add-on services like insurance when they’re looking for a new vehicle. AutoProtect has already started acting on this – we have a full portfolio of videos which showcase what we offer, making it simple and easy for customers to review the benefits of the facilities AutoProtect offer through our dealer network.. We also keep up with customers across social media channels, including Twitter, Facebook and our corporate LinkedIn followers.

Ultimately the traditional glass-plate showroom will never die out – as David says, “A car represents a major investment and customers do want to see and feel their selected car”- but there’s no denying that consumer habits are changing. Sales techniques on the showroom floor will change over the next few years, and we’re likely to see more savvy customers researching support services at the same time as the vehicle – so it’s vital those customers can read up on what we offer before stepping into the showroom.

Oversupply and market changes

The new car market has enjoyed 33 consecutive months of growth, which is great for them, but likely to cause an increase in used car stock as buyers upgrade their vehicles. This is going to have a knock-on effect – as the value of used cars drop, this in turn will impact retailers.

It’s sometimes difficult to find solutions to these market changes, but solving problems is half the fun of the job. It’s definitely something David has thought about while determining how AutoProtect can make the best of the situation. He says: “We firmly believe that dealers must look more actively at widening their added-value sales activity. Increasing the number of products per customer is something we see in other retailing and financial services environments, and it is one that dealers must embrace.”

Improved car sales

Challenges are an inevitable part of working in any sector, but it’s not all uphill for the car industry this year. We fully expect to see both new and used car sales make a slow but steady recovery – boosted by the fleet industry, which has already begun to revert back to its pre-recession change cycles. That’s where we come in: after-sales support and add-on products like AutoProtect’s Car Warranty are what will give retailers the edge to get the most out of the rising sales, and customers will find that arranging this kind of support after purchase simple to arrange.

We asked David what he was most excited about this year, and his response was one we can all get on board with – “It’s the fact that as an industry, add-on insurance is on the cusp of change. As a business I have found that it is this type of challenge that brings out our very best creative side. I have no doubt that our team at AutoProtect will rise to the occasion once again.”