I recently had a conversation with an industry insider concerning the popularity of car dealer ratings and reviews. He told me that he is not buying into all this user generated ratings and reviews stuff in the auto industry. “I think dealers need to go back to basics”, he said. I was extremely shock to hear this. I truly respect this person’s work within the industry, but couldn’t believe what I was hearing. However, the person went on to explain what he meant by his statement. He felt that the demand for car dealer ratings and reviews was low compare to other business sections i.e. dinner and movies.
I partially agree with him. General rating and review sites have received massive exposure and financial support from the media and VC industry. Car dealer ratings and reviews have been slowly accepted and adopted by the auto industry. However, now the wave has risen and the force is greater. The auto consumers are shouting and demanding transparency and trust, this is apparent through the recent media and industry attention it is receiving. Nevertheless, individuals like the person I was conversing with, don’t believe consumers are a powerful force. “Consumers don’t want a relationship with dealers”, he added. Again I was shocked by the statement. But I understand what he was saying and how he felt. His sentiment is shared by a few other dealers, they don’t respect the power of the auto consumer voice, yet. These individuals need to be forced to adapt to the environment around them. It has to be no other alternative in order for these individuals to make a change.
I am glad this is not the sentiment of the whole auto industry, because they can not afford to gamble their future prosperity on stubbornness. But regardless, I would like to challenge all auto consumers to voice their opinion by using blogs, forums and MyDealerReport.com, so the industry can hear.