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Kia Motor UK President and Chief Executive Paul Philpott gives his insight into the major challenges facing salesmen today
- The proliferation of powertrains: For years salesmen have sold petrol or diesel, now they have hybrids, plug-in hybrids and full electric while with conventional engines a 1.2-litre maybe no less powerful than a 1.4. Salesmen will have to clearly describe the benefits of each powertrain to match the needs of the customer.
- Technology: There are so many things that now need to be explained to the customer, there are an increasing number of aids to driving and safety. The salesman needs to become more of a consultant. Dealers have to look at new ways to demonstrate the product,
- Customer expectations: These are changing all the time and it is important to have consistency of service. If you get this right people will pay for good service.
- Electrification: As well as calling for specialist skills in the workshop, electric cars have fewer moving parts than a conventional engine and so the service workshop is likely to become less busy. Dealers have to think of new ways to maintain contact with the customer.
- New retail channels: There are an increasing number of online car buying channels, some more successful then others. To prosper your service needs to be better than what’s available online. The test drive will become more important, it’s something you can’t experience on the internet.