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Automobile and Accessories Industry

Imagine a city police force with a fleet of supercars from brands like Lamborghini, Bugatti, Aston Martin, Bentley, Ferrari, Mercedes, and Camaro. We might have missed a name or two there. But just imagine that. This is Dubai we are talking about; a city reflecting culture, luxury, infrastructure, technology, and automobiles at one of its finest levels of being.

A solid auto sector of a country or a city indicates a lot from an economic perspective and the financial viewpoint of the general public. Being a high-ticket item, increase in the purchase of private and public automobiles reflect people’s confidence in their financial abilities and income prospects, realization of personal,  professional, and business goals and aspirations, and a positive economic environment.

With more than 1.8 million registered vehicles, the city of Dubai has one of the highest cars per capita counts in the world. Toyota, Nissan, and Mitsubishi are the three dominant players in Dubai’s auto industry. The average price of passenger cars in the UAE stands at about a whopping USD 28,000.

However, it is not an easy ride for automobile and auto accessories retailers when it comes to starting and managing a franchise business.

Challenges faced by automobile and auto accessories retailers

Getting through the franchising part

Automobile and auto accessories companies or their master franchisors grant dealership rights to the retail franchisees who run the exclusive showrooms or stores. This process of getting the franchising rights can be alien to many entrepreneurs or even the veteran businessmen who do not have prior experience of franchising.

Gearing up the financial planning

Surely, franchising with a big auto brand may sound like a shining deal. But it also needs to be vetted with comprehensive financial foresight and planning. Mere association with a big brand is not a guarantee of success in franchising because at the end of the day the numbers on the financial statements are going to matter.

Keeping the operational costs down

Franchisees need to abide by the operational standards and processes defined and provided by the franchisors. Irrespective of any difficulty or stress on available resources, franchisees cannot avoid following the protocols. This is where maintaining the operational standards becomes a burden for the franchisees and eventually, their performance begins to take the heat.

Addressing local customer needs

Customer behaviour is an element that is dynamic and varies from place to place and from time to time. Franchisees need to localize their CX strategies to address the needs and expectations of their local customer base. This does not mean deviating from the laid-down standards but doing the fine-tuning. Price discounts during local festival seasons is an apt example here. But such efforts often remain limited to the showrooms and being non-personalized.

Addressing local customer needs

Customer behaviour is an element that is dynamic and varies from place to place and from time to time. Franchisees need to localize their CX strategies to address the needs and expectations of their local customer base. This does not mean deviating from the laid-down standards but doing the fine-tuning. Price discounts during local festival seasons is an apt example here. But such efforts often remain limited to the showrooms and being non-personalized.

Following the SOPs

Although the SOPs may be provided by the franchisors getting the same religiously followed by the staff remains a challenge for many franchisees. Sometimes the ground realities and practical scenarios render it difficult to follow the procedures exactly as they are. This can cause deviations from achieving the intended process efficiencies and also hurt the brand name of both the franchisor and franchisee.

Staff management

How franchisors want the frontline and back-office staff to be managed can be a tough ask for the franchisees. Franchisees have to face many HR challenges at the implementation level like finding the right recruits, employee retention, succession planning, change management, managing payroll, etc. To disengage from the burden of managing support functions like HR, many auto dealership enterprises turn to avail assistance of automotive management consultants.

Building a brand for itself

To be able to create a brand name for itself is always a challenge for franchisees as their efforts get shadowed under the shine of the franchisor’s brand. This is common where one automobile company has more than one franchise dealership in a city. The homogeneity of products and services blurs the lines of distinguishability between the competing franchises.

How YRC can help: a glimpse

In automotive business consulting, YRC helps automobile and auto accessories retailers elevate the performance of their business with expert assistance in some of the important areas of marketing, operations, financial planning, and franchise management.

Even if you are running under the name of any big automobile brand, your business is still a separate entity and requires additional, non-conflicting marketing and branding efforts to effectively compete with other local franchisees. YRC will help you identify or craft the UVP of your dealership business going through a planned and systematic process involving SWOT analysis, assessment of customer behaviour, insights on customer and user experience journey, and a host of other elements.

Do you have a proper business plan in place before you plunge into franchising? At YRC, we realize the importance of financial projections and planning in assessing the commercial viability of a franchise business. YRC will help you with the assessment of your capital and operating expenditure requirements, estimation of sales turnover, assistance in purchase and inventory planning, preparing the profit and loss projections, and ROI and break-even analysis.

You may hand over the process manuals to your managers and employees and ask them for strict adherence. Unfortunately, after some time, SOPs merely remain as wallpapers and habits and convenience takes over them. YRC’s automobile & accessories industry consulting experts will help you in ensuring that SOPs are consistently followed in your enterprise with critical checkpoints and checklists for every process and operation. With this extra bit of effort, you will also have a better monitoring and supervising mechanism in place.

In the automobile & accessories industry, if you want to have delighted customers who would come back to your store/showroom to buy spare parts or other auto accessories or leave a good word-of-mouth review to their family, friends, and peers, one of the essential requirements is to improve the experience you deliver to them. This has a far greater impact on customer behaviour than the dazzle of the franchisors’ brand. Our experts shall map the entire user journey touching all the important digital and physical touchpoints, identify the deciding variables, and come up with a robust CX strategy for your dealership enterprise.

Given the constraints faced by auto franchisee retailers in effectively managing their human resources, YRC offers assistance in the areas of organization design, staff analysis and succession planning, HR SOPs, PMS, and change management.

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We are a boutique retail consulting firm. To know more about our retail automobile and auto accessories business consulting services or if you have any query, drop us a message and we shall get back to you.

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