Tesla to close retail stores, is this the future of the automotive dealership?

As many auto dealers watch carefully on the shift of a car buying experience, Tesla made some big announcements for the future of the company yesterday. The most important, that caught our attention, was the shift from over 200 retail locations to an online purchasing experience. Perhaps Tesla is seeing the success of companies like Carvana, and understand more profits are available without expensive overhead, wages, etc.

But what about the car buyers who aren’t comfortable with making a $30,000 decision online, without test driving it first, even if there is a generous return policy? Take a look at what was noted from CNN’s live updates: https://www.cnn.com/business/live-news/elon-musk-tesla-announcement/index.html

“To make up for the new online-only purchase policy Tesla is also making it easier for people to return their cars. Buyers will have 7 days or 1,000 miles during which they can return the car for a refund.

That's an extremely generous return policy for an automaker, but then again every other manufacturer has dealers that let shoppers test drive a car before buying it."

So if the shift will continue to move online, what does this tell us a car buyer wants? We think it boils down to one word: convenience.

Online - you can shop anytime, from wherever, and you don’t have to deal with a person throughout the process. No awkward conversations, no back and forth haggling, and no wasted time. The only issue is that you don’t have the ability to test drive the car before you make your $30,000 commitment. How do you continue the online experience, but complete the process with a test drive that many buyers want? We may just have an answer.

Find out more at Digital Dealer 26, in Orlando FL! 1Micro will be speaking at the Tech Tank and located in Booth 1018. Click here for the exhibitor map.