In brief

In brief

  • Almost half of European new-car sales are expected to be battery electric vehicles by 2030—with major implications for both sales and aftersales.
  • Considering two key case studies, Accenture has identified strategic insights to help automakers prepare for this fundamental change.
  • Our report draws lessons from Tesla’s approach to sales and analyzes the impact on aftersales in leading EV market Norway.
  • By acting now, traditional automakers can protect profitability and future-proof their sales and aftersales operations.


The electric revolution is here

In Europe, Accenture research suggests that battery electric vehicles (BEVs) will account for ~16 percent of new-car sales by 2025. By 2030, this could rise to almost 50 percent. Globally, the proportion of BEV sales is set to grow from 12 to 25 percent over the same timeframe.

Fifty percent of all new cars sold in Europe in 2030 will be BEVs.

This pivotal change calls on traditional automakers to rethink not only manufacturing, but also other key aspects of their business—like sales and aftersales. How should EVs best be sold in an increasingly digitalized world? And how do aftersales need to evolve to protect profitability?

To answer these key strategic questions, Accenture’s report takes lessons from two important case studies—Tesla for sales, and the Norwegian market for aftersales.

Sales: Learnings from Tesla

As a leading all-electric disrupter of the automotive industry, Tesla offers lessons for other automakers in making new-car sales faster, simpler, more efficient, and more effective. In particular, much can be learned from Tesla’s careful integration and orchestration of online and offline channels.

33%

higher lead-to-order conversion in certain markets.

~5 hrs

less time invested per car sold.

1.6x

lower costs per car sold.

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Consider that Tesla’s salespeople spend, on average, five hours less on administrative and customer-facing activities than their peers at traditional automakers. This translates to a decrease of approximately 40% in the cost per car sold. However, this efficiency does come at the cost of providing a “traditional” car-buying experience (especially in areas like test drives and vehicle handover). To respond, we recommend automakers consider the following key actions:

Digitalize the point of sale.

Equip showrooms with digital infrastructure for presenting prices and key vehicle information.

Simplify configuration.

Streamline car configuration so customers can configure their preferred vehicles by themselves.

Build trust.

Drive conversion by engaging customers as brand “ambassadors,” and build trust by allowing new owners to return vehicles.

Enable self-service education.

Provide digital channels to let new owners educate themselves about their vehicles.

Consider direct sales.

Shift the retail network to direct sales with an agency model, creating seamless online and offline experiences.

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Aftersales: Learnings from Norway

Norway is the undisputed leader in BEV sales. It’s therefore the ideal market to predict how growing numbers of BEVs on the roads will affect the aftersales business.

Our findings should be a wake-up call for the automotive industry. There is compelling evidence for a potentially massive 50 to 60 percent decline in aftersales profits.

~99%

less moving parts in the engine.

Up to 60%

lower aftersales profits if no countermeasures are taken.

Up to 40%

recovery of aftersales profits possible.

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The good news? Our analysis also unveils proven strategies from Norwegian dealers that can help reduce this decline to just 10 to 30 percent. These include better harnessing customer loyalty, increasing workshop efficiency and improving the pricing strategy.

Harness customer loyalty.

Look to monetize the fact that BEV owners typically have higher brand loyalty with a package of first-class aftersales services.

Increase workshop efficiency.

Enhance productivity by rethinking ways of working, increasing automation, and making better use of data.

Improve pricing strategy.

Consider key pricing levers like low-cost pricing, value-based pricing, and innovative pay-per-use pricing.

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The road ahead

Besides the increasing margin pressure in both new-car sales and aftersales and service, there is an opportunity to capture future value-pools in the industry’s rapid electrification and digitalization. While this will not, of course, happen overnight, neither will the countermeasures taken by traditional automakers and dealers. The time to act is now.

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