Dealers and consumers are keen for automakers to move to an "agency" selling model that would facilitate a shift to a more online buying process, a new study has concluded.
However, the practicalities of shifting to an entirely new business model that transfers the setting of transaction prices to automakers from dealers is causing some friction in locations where the change is being implemented.
"The current sales model is not sustainable, and an adaption is essential to stay competitive," the report from Capgemini concluded after surveying 6,000 consumers and 50 dealers in major European markets and China.
Automakers in Europe have already begun rolling out the agency model, whereby they pay dealers for each car sold, as opposed to dealers buying
cars wholesale and setting transaction prices themselves.
Under an agency model, automakers take control of consumer pricing to the point where haggling could be eliminated.
Of the dealers surveyed by Capgemini, 80 percent highlighted their concern about the lack of price transparency for both dealers and consumers, while 70 percent of consumers worried that prices advertised on brand websites were higher than offered by dealers.
A majority of those customers surveyed (75 percent) expected to be able to buy their next car online, but 92 percent still considered "a personal touchpoint" with dealers to be essential, suggesting that a so-called "omni-channel" combination of online presence and a physical dealer network was still needed.