Industry, News

Reflections from Used Car Week: A Glimpse Into the Future of the Auto Industry

by Stan Deak

Hey there, folks! Super Dispatch CRO, Stan Deak, here. This past week, we took a ride to Used Car Week 2023 and we returned with a trunk full of insights that could steer the future of the transportation industry. Rounding up our super team were the dynamic duo of Account Executives, Felicity Short and Ashley Weaver. We had the best time and I’m excited to take a deep dive into our takeaways from the #UCW!

As we look back on our experience at Used Car Week, a significant event that brings together industry leaders and professionals, I can’t help but feel a mix of excitement and concern for the future of the automotive industry. The panels, discussions, and networking opportunities provided invaluable insights into the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. Here are some key takeaways and highlights on the major topics that resonated with me.

The Car Affordability Crisis: A Growing Concern

One pressing issue that stood out was the affordability crisis in the vehicle market. It’s no secret that the soaring prices and sky-high interest rates have made it increasingly difficult for consumers to purchase cars. This financial strain has led to a significant negative equity in the vehicles people already own, which may further exacerbate the repossession rates in the industry. We learned that a significant increase in more repossessions are expected this year alone, putting additional pressure on repo yards and transportation companies to efficiently manage the growing inventory.

Tech Adoption and the Future of Auto Transport

One area that emerged as a perceived contrast was the adoption of technology between freight and auto transport. While the freight industry has embraced AI and data-driven solutions, attendees felt that auto transport still lags behind. It became apparent that there is immense potential for technological advancements in our sector. From streamlining operations to optimizing routes and improving communication, the integration of AI and data-driven systems can revolutionize auto transport. And I may be biased, but Super Dispatch is definitely leading the charge and is continuing to invest in both innovative solutions, but also, tech education for our customers.

Sourcing Quality Inventory: A Challenging Task

Another topic that garnered attention was the challenge of finding quality used car inventory. With the decrease in lease turn-ins and a surge in private sales, the market has become more competitive. The demand for sourcing vehicles from private sellers has increased, leading to a decline in used car inventory. This scarcity has created a need for innovative solutions and strategic partnerships to ensure a steady supply of reliable vehicles.

Collaboration and Awareness in Transportation

Used Car Week also shed light on the importance of collaboration and awareness in the transportation sector. We all work together to ensure vehicles are moved in a timely manner, which is crucial for repo yards, auction lots, and dealerships. Furthermore, similar to what our Account Executive, Patrick, found at Auto Haulers Association of America (AHAA) Fall Expo, the industry needs to address the ongoing driver shortage. With the driver shortage existing across transport industries, competition from other sectors like e-commerce giants, is on the rise. Nurturing and hiring millennials who are tech-savvy can help bridge the gap and leverage advanced driver apps.

The Rise of Women in Remarketing

One major highlight for me at Used Car Week, especially as the father of two young women, was the absolute empowerment of women in auto remarketing. Hearing about the GROW (Global Remarketing Opportunities for Women) initiative, led by the dynamic Shelly Frank, encouraging women’s participation in remarketing was especially exciting. We’re advocates of diversity in our industry, and our female team members were especially touched to have been recognized by Shelly and her team as quality members of the auto industry and welcomed to consider GROW.

Used Car Week provided a glimpse into the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead in the automotive industry. The event served as a reminder that collaboration, innovation, and embracing new technologies will be critical for growth and success. As we navigate these dynamic times, it’s essential to stay informed, adapt to changing trends, and work together to shape a resilient and prosperous future.

We’re all set to ride into Used Car Week 2024. Until then, let’s use these insights as our GPS to navigate the changing landscape of transportation. Onwards and upwards, my friends!

Published on November 13, 2023

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