May 21, 2020 By Gerard Jude Castillo

Is digital the auto industry’s new normal?

What’s in store for the automotive industry in the immediate future?

The past two and a half months have arguably been one of, if not the most life-changing periods in recent history. The COVID-19 pandemic has not only affected countless lives but it has likewise changed the way we live our own lives.

While the virus may have wreaked havoc on health and well-being, it has made most of us more aware of keeping ourselves healthy. Good hygiene habits, wearing of protective face masks, and generally being more mindful of others is now part of this ‘new normal’ way of life.

But while mass gatherings and being more careful of where one goes will be the norm for quite a while, one wonders how it will affect industries like the automotive sector. How will manufacturers be able to sell a vehicle if consumers have restricted movements? Can there still be grand car launches, for instance?

While a grand debut with all the trimmings may be out of the question for the time being, carmakers are not about to take the current situation sitting down. In fact, we can expect a few changes from industry players. These include:

Digital Vehicle Debuts: As everyone goes digital these days, the auto industry is taking full advantage of the platform to launch their new models. Lexus, for instance, recently revealed its LC Convertible to select members of the local motoring media. Nissan has also taken the wraps off its GT-R50 by Italdesign limited edition model using the power of the internet. And Geely is likewise gearing up for its Azkarra reveal by the end of this month using digital media.

Online showrooms: Carmakers showcasing their full lineup on their respective websites is nothing new. This was designed to give buyers the information they need before hitting the showroom floor and making that purchase. Yet now, many automakers have beefed up their websites with online showroom tools where one can not only view the pertinent features of a vehicle but even perform transactions such as getting price quotes from a preferred dealer, applying for an auto loan, and filling out the necessary documentation to complete the purchase. It’s practically buying one’s next car from the safety and comfort of home.

Strict measures to ensure safety and well being: For those that will still opt to go to a dealer to buy their next car using the traditional way, they can be assured that their health and well being is of the utmost importance. Manufacturers encourage clients to set an appointment before coming over for a test drive, or having their existing vehicle serviced. And everyone can rest assured that all vehicles will be properly disinfected to help curb the spread of viruses and illnesses.

Yes, times are definitely changing. Question is, are you ready for the automotive landscape’s new normal?

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