While manufacturers steer branding, local dealers drive foot traffic and sales. More often than not, the manufacturer offers a sophisticated customer experience, while the dealership’s marketing is cruder. Only 2% of auto dealerships consistently mirror the manufacturer’s site, according to L2’s report on dealership integration.
Not only do these misrepresentations taint the clean, luxurious images of their parent sites, they also lead to a competitive cannibalization of search terms. Synchronized branding is key if OEMs and dealerships want to work harmoniously in the future.
One factor that OEMs and dealerships must be aware of before merging marketing perspectives is the presence of new innovations such as 3D printing and AI capabilities. Thanks to these tools, engineers and designers now have the power to completely customize every feature of a vehicle, from its ability to decipher the mood of the driver to its ability to choose which passenger should die in the event of a crash. Luxury in the auto world is not what it once was, and both local dealerships and manufacturers should reflect this in their marketing efforts.