The Dealer Playbook
The Dealer Playbook

Episode 518 · 4 months ago

Fanie Scholtz & Peter Viljoen : Do Dealers Love The Agency Model?


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In this week's episode, we're joined by two talented leaders in the automotive industry - Fanie Scholtz, a Managing Director at FS Media, and Peter Viljoen, Managing Director at SydSen Uthintane (PTY) LTD.

They share how they paired to work on a big project popularly known as Let's talk Automotive, a weekly automotive talk show, as we also discuss the big question as to if Dealers Love The Agency Model.

What we discuss in this episode:

How Fanie and Peter met and the story behind them joining hands and collaborating in making Let's Talk Automotive and what the project is about.

Fanie and Peter share how important creating content is for growing a business, especially for the automotive industry, in a way that original, high-quality content demonstrates to your customers that you are reliable and knowledgeable. It's more important than ever to get content onto our social media platforms that add value, is interesting, and is funny and entertaining. In that way, we will build relationships of trust that will lead to that potential buyer on the other side of that device becoming a customer.

Peter shares an observation he made about dealers who make content; he notes, "A mistake that the dealers start making when creating their content is they make that content around the vehicle itself. And they try and put specials out there. And it's not enjoyable for the consumer to watch that kind of content. So it's essential to make the exciting content stuff, even if it's not about the vehicles".

We discuss the commonalities that exist within the automotive industry in different countries. Comparing South Africa to the rest of the world, where the commonalities reside in defining a business from a financial point of view in that South Africa has a competitively intense market, and they also have dealer operations that are very small compared to most parts of the world.

Fanie and Peter dig deep into the positive and negative Impact of the pandemic on the dealership landscape and how the automotive industry pumped the brakes hard in the early months of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Sales had dropped, but the industry's engines never shut down. From the third quarter of 2020 to the first quarter of 2021, automakers worldwide saw rapid (and, in some cases, record) low production levels. As with multiple industries and geographic regions, the pandemic has accelerated the trends already forming along the mobility value chain.

With plenty of dealers expressing different feelings about The Agency Model, debates are still ongoing about the move's potential benefits and impact on the automotive sector. With the Covid-19 pandemic still looming over the economy, it faces an uphill battle. The current economic situation has made it clear that original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and dealerships must transition to a sustainable sales model. Although such a transition promises cost savings and price and customer data control, it also carries significant risks if not carried out with caution.

Tune into this episode as we try to answer the most tricky question: Do Dealers Love The Agency Model?

Listen to the full episode for insights and context from Fanie Scholtz and Peter Viljoen!

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Thanks, Fanie Scholtz and Peter Viljoen!

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The car business is rapidly changing and modern car dealers are meeting the demand. I'm Michael Cirillo and together we're going to explore what it takes to create a thriving dealership and life in the retail automotive industry. Join me each week for inspiring conversations with subject matter experts that are designed to help you grow. This is the dealer playbook. All right, gang, welcome to this episode of the dealer playbook podcast. I'm sitting down with my pals now, some of you actually. Just a side note, don't know how much history I actually have with that bald bearded brute on the screen, but he and I go way, way back, so excited to have him on the show. Meet Fannie scolts and Peter Phil June from South Africa. Thanks so much for joining me on the dealer playbook podcast. Michael, good to be a thank you very much, and thanks for having us. Yeah, great pleasure. Now we should signify. I guess you're both kind of have some facial hair. Well, one of you is bald, the other one isn't. UH, yeah, I was gonna say, which leads me to believe Peter hasn't been in the industry very long. But that can't that can't. Peter's actually seventy four. He's been in the industry for a very long time. Yeah, I mean twenty four years now. Twenty four years in the industry. Wow. So what's been the secret to what kind of shampoo do you use to keep all that hair shamp glue? Oh Man, that's hilarious. Well, I'm excited to have you guys anytime. Obviously we can get perspective from outside North America about what's happening in the auto industry, especially on the retail side of things. I think is always interesting. Of course you you, you guys are seeing it all over the place on Linkedin. Lots of narrative happening around the agency model and o e MS moved to that and I want to I want to pick your brains about that, but first I want to I want to just talk about your your company, your project. Let's talk automotive. Tell me a little bit about that. What are you guys doing there and and what inspired you to do that? Well, Mike, let's talk automotive. Is Basically just a platform that we also used to sort of promote the automotive industry in South Africa and what we do as as individuals. But has got a company called Sitsen Um and I've got a marketing company called Fas media. But we both grew up in the motor industry and it's also, and it's still automotives, just a passion project for us, again, just to talk to people in the industry. We do some reviews on cause, we do some segments on half his work. It is very clear, but...

...even though it doesn't look like it, um so. So that's that's basically what Leeds to put a motive is. But you're down playing this a little bit funny, because I've got your Youtube Open. Yeah, we just kind of for those listening, he's saying, we just do some content about car. This, the quality of the production that you are putting out looks like it should be on internationally syndicated television, right. How did you put that together? Because I know content creation is something that more and more should be, you know, hopping on the bandwagon of here we are two thousand and twenty two and and in my opinion, content creation should not be as novel idea as it still is. Like everybody should be doing it but when, when it comes to putting a production quality camera angles, can you know everything that you're doing, Dash Cam and all of that stuff? What does it take to actually put together you know, let's let's say, for example, I see the the the Nissan magnite MAG light, magnite MAG light review. That's right. So you've got multi camera angles, you've got obviously some sort of a camera guy or something. What does it actually take to put together content of this caliber? Yeah, Mike, I mean it's thanks. Thanks for that observation, and I think we've often been accused of perhaps overproducing the program but I think that's that's in our DNA is that if we're going to do something, we're gonna do it large and we're gonna do it first first class and make sure that we're the best at what we're doing, and I think that's that's maybe what everybody should be aspiring to do, especially if you're going to be creating content. So, yeah, there's a lot of time and if it that's that's put into into that production. If I'm a dealer and I want to it started doing production, I mean, you know, it's similar to you sometimes get accused of overproducing and those sorts of things. But really, you know, like you had said earlier, finding like this is a passion project. For me, it's a creative outlet to kind of break up the the routine, the monotony of the day, to be able to sit down and learn from others and produce something. But for a dealer who maybe just wants to put themselves out there in a different way, what does it actually take to get started? Because I know sometimes we can compare ourselves to say, oh, man, I can't do it, to let's talk automotive standards. Is it even worth it? What's your take on that? Yeah, well, for me, for me mark, the secret is is just to actually get started. Um, that people tend to think and and you know, stay, stay in the in the quiet, safe space for too long. Um. So the secret to to getting this is just start creating content, because content, unfortunately though it is a Cliche, is...

...king. We need to get content out onto our social media platforms that adds value and is interesting and is funny and entertaining, Um, and in that way we will bold relationships of trust that will lead to that potential buy at the other end watching this, becoming a customer so my my advice to everybody out there is just to actually get started. Just, you know, even if it's just a cell phone in Selfie mode, just start creating valuable, interesting, funny content. I mean, I think there's two things that I can add add to that. You know. The first is is that I think the first mistake that the dealers starting off creating their own content make is that make that content around the vehicle itself and they try and put specials out there, etcetera, and it's not interesting for for the for the consumer to to watch that that kind of content. So it's very important to make the content interesting stuff, even if it's not about the view coals Um. But the second thing is is that there's actually a very interesting backstory as to how finning and I met and in fact, when I was doing my training, I had seen some of fines videos that he made when he was sales manager at a hundred dealership and I mean these videos were just incredible that they epitomized everything that we were trying to teach the dealerships to do in terms of creating interesting content that created fantastic organic growth. I mean some of his videos would have thirty forty, fifty thousand views on the videos organically, and I've done training at at one of finest dealerships where he was the group marketing manager, and I've left some notes up on a on a on a flip chart, and finally looked at these notes and he got anyway, Hey man, this car seems pretty out there in terms of what he's what he's saying. He contacted me and he phoned me and you said, Hey, Peter, this is fine scots and I initially thought, Oh, I'm in trouble now because he's naming me, because I mean using his videos. So I mean the impacts that that he created on on his videos was was amazing and I think that is what we we would encourage dealerships to do, is just be use your imaginations, have a sense of humor, great interesting content for for your customers out there and they'll and they'll look forward to the next posting. I love this. It makes me think of, you know, in an industry where everything has to be a one to one mapping, like I did the thing and then sold the car. We all know. I think it's it's important for the industry to just finally accept that nothing in life really works that way. Even when we think that it was an immediate thing, it really wasn't. Consumers are putting a lot of thought into, you know, what they're buying, who they're buying it from, who they want to deal with. And the point I guess I'm trying to make here, to to, you know, emphasize what I've heard both of you say, is it's not...

...about selling the car, it's about selling you. And if that only resonates with one person and that one person takes action, that's ultimately the thing that matters the most, because then you have opportunity for lifetime value building in that customer Um. You know, I often think about it, even producing producing the dealer playbook. So many people have said, how have you been to Australia? Have you been to Europe? Have you done and I'm like, it doesn't take everyone, it takes the right one person. Do you know what I mean? And and in this case that's something that came to my mind as you were sharing that story, which is which is hilarious. Uh, you know just how like attracts like, you know, and so it's super cool. I Love I love watching your guys videos and you have so many different types of videos out there. So I I admire from afar. I'm I'm one of those thirty thousand views, fifty views, Um, let's talk about I'm always intrigued to getting to sit down and talk with people in the automotive community from different countries. I mean, for those watching or listening, just before hopping on the car, we're like all right, let's go, and the power turned off and you don't think about small little things like that until you experience them firsthand. And of course, Peter you, when you guys came back on, you're like, yeah, this happens all the time. It's you know, or maybe fanny, one of you said like that's that. These are things that we deal with. But being in North America, we we tend to think this is no, it's the automotive industry. It's the same everywhere. The things on a dealer's mind in South Africa is the same thing on a dealer's mind and in Um, you know, Canada or Ireland or something like that. What are some of the commonalities that you see? But what are some also, some of the big differences you see in the auto industry there in South Africa? Well, I think if I can maybe kick off, I think some of the commonalities reside in in how we define a business from a financial point of view. So you know, we we split the business down the middle in terms of fixed and variable operations and we use very similar benchmarking figures to what we find all over the world. I think what's different in South Africa to perhaps the rest of the world is in the in fact we've got a very, very competitive environment in this country. So we've got a very small car park relative to the US. I mean the US cells at one point four million passenger cars a month. I mean we sell, if we sell forty thousand passenger cars a month, it's been a great month for the whole of South Africa. But yet we've got fifty different brands represented here. So we we actually have an incredibly complex, very very um compared datively well, competitively intense market in South Africa.

Um, but we've also got dealer operations that are very small compared to the to tow let's say the US deadership. So typical US dealership marked easily with the ask closed retail foreigner units a month, whereas in South Africa forty units a month would be a good month. But we've got the same fixed cost elements. So we've got these massively impressive dealerships that are in very expensive real estate, Um and and, so we've got to watch our costs like a hawk. Right. And then are you dealing with here? Here's let's call this the round of stupid American questions. Internet reliability, like you know, one thing that shocked me coming from Canada to the United States is my my cell phone bill in Canada was four hundred and seventy dollars a month. I come to the United States, I get ten times more every thing or unlimited everything, and it's a hundred and dollars a month. Um. Are you dealing with things of that nature on a on a small scale there as well? Yeah, I mean, listen, we know that, especially with with the way things are moving towards the whole digitization of the industry, were really suffering as a result because we just don't have reliable internet like you guys have in North America. Um, as you've seen already with with with our experience here. So it's it's getting better, but it's certainly a handicap. I think the volatility of our currency is also another major player. You know, we've got a six month lead time from the time that we place orders for vehicles to when they arrive in South Africa, and you know, the rand can depreciate in that period plays so there's lots of volatility in the market that we've got to that we've got to try and accommodate for Um. But for the rest it we were okay. What's the are things? Well, I'm seeing Fanni's photos as he rubs his motorcycle, gallivanting in my face nonstop. Are we open now, past the pandemic, or are there still lockdowns measures in place? How how are things looking there from that perspective? We we completely open and back to normal. If, if we can call it normal now, I don't know. But yeah, there's no there's no more lockdowns, no more quarantines or confuse or whatever the cases. Everything is back to normal. Um, but yeah, it's still it's we we are still adjusting now. It's weird that we are adjusting to getting back to normal. It's what was the impact through the pandemic on dealer? Just say again, what? What? What was the impact through the pandemic? You know, you said kind of whatever this new normal is. What was the impact of pandemic on the on the dealership landscape? I think I think just start off...

...and pete can maybe just elaborate a little bit. But but when? When COVID H? Yeah, in South Africa, we had a odd lockdown. So I think we we like business closed for a couple of for a couple of months. So we were hard lockdown for two months at least. Absolutely no business allowed it. There's any really emergency services that were allowed to be performed. So it was. It was terrible. So that that keeped us into into uh, if we can call it. There's a little bit of a panic mode in the industry, in the motor industry, and a lot of people went from, or try to go from completely not digital to full digital within a couple of months, which was, in my opinion, a huge failure. We we didn't see, we didn't see that uptake, that that people would go online and start buying online and doing business digitally completely. I think now that now that to journal of years later, Um, we sort of back to where we were before, with a little bit of learned from learned from the mistakes and we are seen slight improvements on digital stuff in our industry on this side. Yeah, I think. I think, if I can just add to to what finally's saying, you know, I think the focus, and it was was the highlight. It highlighted the opportunities that digit all presented. I think it's fast tracked US UM quicker than than if we didn't have the hard lockdowns. But I've got to say the other impact that that we are feeling at the moment was that we we had no idea how long these these lockdowns were going to to last. Four and the knee jerk reaction from businesses was to was to retrench, and I think that a lot of businesses cut too deep in their retrenchments and they let a lot of unbelievable staff go. And no sooner that the lockdown end then business suddenly took off and the dealers were really caught unprepared to cope now with this massive increase in activity and and and volume of sales that that that then occurred. The flip side of that is that the dealer groups in South Africa, and I think this is true for for most of the world, in the last eighteen months have posted their best financial results in their history. So you know, it was such a such a massive swing and momentum from being doom and gloom too, this has been the best thing that almost happened to us. So we've got to look at that as a silver lining as well. You had mentioned something about a six month lead time. was that as a result of the pandemic? Is that a chip shortage thing or that's just business as usual? And that's that's normal for us, dealing with imports and getting getting the stock from all over the world into South Africa. But but adding on to it, Peter Just said, and and and, touching again on the pandemic,...

...a lot of manufacturers in South Africa, because most of the stuff is important, unfortunately, also got wrong. They're planning because nobody knew what was going to happen. And our two plan for this and how long is lockdown is gonna last? So we see that that there's brand specific huge success in South Africa at the moment with guys that got it right and other people that got it wrong, almost two years later, are still suffering the consequences. But that's insane. Um It's well, I'm first of all, I'm glad you guys are all back open, but I'm also kind of piste off. Could you maybe get get our queen to send a letter to Canada and tell them to stop with the nonsense and open up? Finally, you know, you know, it's been amazing. Just to make a comment on that, is that from the moment that we got rid of our mask mandate, Um, actually, everything stopped. In terms of COVID. We, we, we went through periods where for five days in a row we would report no fatalities of from from from covid and in fact we're starting to see now more more people getting ill from flud. So I think it's a mistake to be too closed. I think we learned that. We, we didn't know what was going on in the beginning, but it's enough now, gas Um. You know, we, we, we kind of understand how to treat this this properly now and and get on with life. And I think that you know, we, we, we, the minute that we opened up as a society properly was the minute that we started to see the benefits, no doubt about it. But, but, but politics, Peters. Um. Yeah, it's interesting, though, that Um, to your point, dealers all over the world. I would anticipate seeing record profits and the challenge that I see with that is where things subside, whatever pre pandemic. Maybe maybe it won't fully go pre pandemic numbers or a situation, but but when things subside, my hope is that dealers don't see that it was a loss, that they were actually tracking their portfolio over a longer period of time to realize that they're probably still up all in all of our previous periods, because I'm starting to see, I don't know if it's the same there, but I'm starting to see dealers being like well, I was doing six million and now I'm only doing four million, and it's like yeah, but before the pandemic you were only doing three millions, so you're still yeah, I think that's a veted point mark. You know. I think that that that we need to remember that the mud industry traditionally is feast of Feminine Um. All that covid has done for us is magnified that. I think the second thing that we go to all be aware of is that the pandemic has created at a false sense of UH security. I surpose or Um. You know, we we're seeing operageous numbers on used car values and trade and values. The guys...

...are being really aggressive. They're trading above book and you know, I think we've got to be very careful about that because I think that bubble is going to burst reasonably soon. I think that the manufacturers are going to get your grips with the chip shortage pretty soon and as soon as they do that, they're going to make up for lost time and they're gonna really start pushing high levels of production and stock onto the dealers, and the dealers are going to have a massive swing again in terms of an oversupply of stock. And when that happens, any used vehicles they have on their floors are going to be owing them way, way, way wrong. And so I think the guys need to start preparing now and planning now and start buying correctly now, otherwise they're going to be in for another hiding. M Yeah, that's interesting. So two weeks ago, I think it was about two weeks ago at time of recording this, the governor of the State of California, so we are e v only uh, a week ago, or maybe it was just a few days ago at time of recording this. The headline read that California is asking people to turn off their power because they can't support the power grid. And and and of course, you know, I don't want to rub it in that your power went out at the beginning of this thing, but you know, I lived in the Philippines for a couple of years and I mean it was just like you never knew, you never knew when the power grid was just going to get overloaded. Is there the same level of talk about evs in South Africa going on as there is here? Because, I mean, like here, it seems like they're really pushing that that agenda. Yeah, they we are seeing that, Um, and it's quite interesting, uh, you know, because unfortunately we live in South Africa and we have this unstable electricity supply which which just compounds what you've just said. Now say, you know, in off of the country's mind, we're going all, can we have electric vehicles? We've can't even just get the power. Do you stay on? So are we gonna charge, you know, electric vehicles? And Yeah, it's an interesting one, Mike. I don't know. I don't know what's gonna Happen. I've got I've got another way of looking at it. I think electric vehicles could possibly be the best thing for any country that has an unstable electrical supply, for the simple reason that if you take the average power output of a electric car, let's say at a hundred killer watts, okay, Um, if you are able to plug your car into your house, you could have your house run off your car easily for two, three days nonstop, and then when the power comes back on, it charges the vehicle. So in fact it acts as a beautiful balancer in terms of when there's lack of power supply from a household point of view, you just run it off your car and when the electricity comes back on it charges...

...the con you carry on the next day. I think the challenge, though, with electric vehicles twofold. The first is the concept of hedging all of our bets on Lithian and batteries. I think it's a mistake, and the second is the cost of rolling out an infrastructure of fast charges. I think everybody's underestimated that. You know, the estimates are that too simulates or to approximate an average fuel station you need twenty charges. You know. You take a hundred killer what charger times twenty, that's a five killer what Megure, what fast station that you've just created there, and you need to have the infrastructure to park the electricity to those. And then there's the the concept that these these charging stations are what seventy five thou dollars just uninstalled. You know, he's going to pay for all of this. So I think, I think we need to tank, we need to slide down a little bit in terms of the roilouts of evs, Um and we need to have a look at at what source of power we can epower electric vehicles, because I still think there's a future for fuel cell technology, for example. Um So, you're the first person that's ever positioned evis the way I just heard you position them, and now I'm wondering if your middle name, if it's not Peter Nicola, Tesla failure, because I could I could definitely see that being the case. But then there is the conspiracy theorist in me, who's like, is this just maybe not an excuse to get the agency model rolled out, like, you know, like the pandemic? If there's one thing that the pandemic did for me, is it it made me realize how lazy governments have gotten, because they're not even trying to hide the corruption anymore. They're like, you know what, we should include a banana with every car. That and and then every dealer must be banana certified and and then we will roll out this agency model. That's how we're going to break the new like it's it's so like. So for me I'm like maybe they're just like you gotta be e v Certified and then the next thing is like bloom agency model. But but it could be anything like I just find they're they're like they're finding the dumbest excuses to just push forward their narrative. And that's that's how I've little old and, by the way, not a flat earth or conspiracy guy, but like I'm like, you know, they just need an excuse. They need an excuse to do things. Is this that? Is this how they bridge the gap? Okay, said, I mean I don't think governments behind the agency model. I think that's fairly in the in the in the Lapo of the I M right. I think. I think there's a couple...

...of aspects to the agency model that that you've got to consider. It's it's not truly one dimensional. I think there's a marketing aspect of the agency MODEL. Um. So there's so many different platforms out there, so many choices for the customer to start exploring different vehicles. That that I think the A M s are are quite right in channeling those into an Omni channel. I think the big thing, though, is if, if we do have a look at electric vehicles and we do look at the current business model of dealerships. Um, you know, most dealers rely on after sales to absorb their costs. So they try and benchmark between eighty and cost absorption from after sales. You introduce electric vehicles, now that falls away because an electric vehicle hardly requires any maintenance. So you've taken away a major income source from the from the dealership, Um, and and so you've got to be very, very, very efficient in the way that you able to earn money from the sale of new vehicles. Now, just interestingly, Mike, this is not just the domain of new vehicles. We've seen recently the BMW have started to release micro transactions. So what the manufacturers are aiming to do is to build vehicles with all the specifications already pre built into the vehicles but switched off the active you want to have your entertainment system. Well, YOU'RE gonna have to purchase it and you're going to purchase it through the various manufacturers online stores. So the beauty has that you can purchase it for a month, a quarter, a year or for the life of the vehicle you choose. But I think that's going to be one of the major income streams for manufacturers because he's going to be such pressure on earnings from the advent of evs Um so I think that's that's one of the reasons why they've pushed for the agency model. I mean it's very interesting. I'm actually quite quite busy at the moment on developing an opinion on an agency model for one of the manufacturers in Australia and m look this there's the good, the bad and ugly of an agency model. But I think in honesty we've we've had the agency MODEL in South Africa with both messides Benz and BMW and although there was a large skepticism in the beginning, we've had it five years now in South Africa with Messdes Bens. The dealers love it, absolutely love it. It's really working out well for them. So I think if if it's designed properly. It's actually an awesome business model. Okay, well, hold the train. Let's talk about that. They love it. Let's talk about this, because right now this is all that there's a lot of talk about this and we are currently in the phase of Oh so the o e m s hate us. Got It. Yeah, absolutely. Did you guys go through similar motions and, if so, what did it? What is it? What did it look like then?...

What does it look like now? What is it that the dealers because that's what I want to key in on for dealers that are listening to this. This is why I want this outside international perspective. What is it that they love about it? Because if you're saying dealers love it, a for those listening, means dealers didn't go away. Right, if they were going to go away in South Africa, would have been five years ago. They're still around. So let's let's talk about that. Break that down for me a little bit. What do you guys see in alright, so first to you. I think that the reason why that, while there's so high levels of skepticism about this agency models, is purely because there's been no change management program put in place to introduce us to the dealerships. It's kind of been this is how it's going to be, boys and that's it, and I think that that has got everybody, everybody's backs up and rocky side. I mean, if I was a dealer and I was a dealer Um, I would feel the same way. Why it works is because so many of the costs have been removed from the dealership, so the dealers don't own stock anymore, that that burden resides with the with the I m S. Um. There's the concept of net pricing as well, which is very controversial but ultimately works because there's no more buyers remorse from customers and it forces the I E M S to price correctly first time around. And I can tell you, Mike, I was a product manager and a pricing manager for one of the German brands and I knew that I had a little, a lot of leeway actually to be more aggressive on pricing because I knew the dealers would ultimately take up the slack if I was if I was wrong on my prising and then at a later stage if it was completely wrong. We'd introduced the rebates to kind of correct the market expectations. Now the pressure is on the manufacturers to price right first time, and so the customer benefits from this as well, because they are genuinely getting the cars at the right price and because they're getting the cars of the right price and there's no discount. It also then protects the trade and value of the vehicles as well at the end of the day as well. So I think that's why, why, in principle, the dealers are happy, is that they've just had so many of these costs removed and so many of the hassles removed in terms of the sales process. It all comes down now to not who's offering the best price in terms of securing the deal, but who's offering the best service. If you offer the best service, your customers are going to come in in droves, and that's the bottom line and that's that's where where if we if we go back to right in the beginning what we said, we have to start adapting now to change the way we do our marketing and we need to start building their relationship with our customers online. It's because, because that is ultimately going to be the differentiating factor. In the past, with the with the normal old school models, unfortunately, our dealerships on dealer level used price as the only differentiating factor.

It wasn't about service, it wasn't about building relationships. Customers just chopped around and got the best price and played and played off the dealers against each other to get the best price and that's how we sold cause. So if you remove that and go to the dealing model, well, you know, the agency model. Now we need to go back to actually selling cause, bolding relationships, adding value, etcetera, etcetera. Man, this is Um. This really emphasizes the fact that this is a people business. Yeah, absolutely, it's not taking away like, I get it. Hey, North America has got kind of going through this narrative now, early stages. We're worried about it, we're wondering, Um, you know, we just saw Buick. I don't know the full details, but buicks basically offering to buy out franchisees who can't, you know, or maybe don't have the infrastructure or interest in updating facilities and updating their programs or things of that nature, and that gets everybody worried. But I love how you know, Peter, you and and Fani have positioned this of like there's there's actually a full. What do you want to call it? A hyper loop happening here, because it's going to make the whole process more efficient. And then it's it really places the onus in the emphasis back on dealer to be an upstanding part of the community, which they already are, but perhaps maybe they're lacking the ability to or the know how of how to actually present themselves back and make them themselves the desirable destination for the purchase, not just you know, anybody, the competitor down the street under percincts and I think make one of the one of one of the biggest concerns that the dealerships have is that they honestly believe that the I m s are expropriating their customers, and that actually couldn't be further from the truth. Um, in our in our experience with mecedes beans and MW, the dealership's customer database has actually been enhanced by the sole process Um. And if if the dealers are honest with themselves and they have a look at the quality of their own databases, we know that of the database is corrupt through through various reasons, and it's it's not a criticism, it's just the reality you know, people's numbers change, the email addresses change, whereas if you've if you've got a centralized Omni channel and a marketing channel that's that's and and data analytics spand all of this Um, you know, you're producing quality customers for the dealerships and enhancing, you know, the customer database for for the cut for the dealership. So I think that it's a it's an incorrect perception of the deed that the that the o e m is trying to take over the customers are not that the MS realized that they are absolutely reliant on the dealerships to develop these relationships with customers. And if the dealerships see it that way, they'll succeed, they'll flat. I love it, man,...

...what an eye opening perspective, paradigm shift. Uh, this conversation has been absolutely a delight. Peter, Fanny, I want to thank you for joining me on the dealer playbook podcast. How can those listening get in touch with you? We'll start with fanny and then Peter Um. Well, Mike, Thanks for putting me on the spot like that. Yeah, if they want to get involved or in contact with me on social media. Just funny skulls. My company's if is media, so also on social media platforms. Um that that that company does content creation, marketing, social media platforms, etcetera, etcetera. And Yeah, Peter can just give these links out as well. Yeah, so I think that probably the easiest is just go to our website. It's sits in DOT com. So it's S Y D for Delta, is e in Fro November, Dot com, and all lot of details that we'd love to hear from me. Amazing. Thank you so much for joining me on the dealer playbook podcast. Thank you so much. Talks being really, really great. I'm Michael Cirillo and you've been listening to the dealer playbook podcast. If you haven't yet, please click the subscribe button wherever you're listening right now, leave a rating or review and share it with a colleague. Thanks for listening.

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