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How Tech Is Changing the Auto Market

By Lou Whiteman - Feb 14, 2021 at 7:00AM

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Are dealerships going to go the way of the dinosaur?

There has long been talk of tech disrupting the auto-buying experience without a whole lot to show for it so far. By in large, consumers still go to the dealer showrooms to buy as they have for generations. 

Kevin Bennett, CEO of consumer finance start-up MotoRefi, sees that trend changing over time. In this video, recorded on Feb. 4, Bennett joins Brendan Mathews from Motley Fool Ventures to share his observations about how tech is improving the auto-buying experience and what consumers should expect to change in the years to come. 

Brendan Mathews: When you think about the future of used cars, what are used cars going to look like in 10 years? I think more people are looking at sharing options, people are switching to electric vehicles, and we definitely got more software in automobiles. What are the big things that we should be looking at?

Kevin Bennett: It's a great question. I think it will be tech forward and I think it will be flexible. I think the car itself will become more and more tech forward, more and more like a computer. The value, a lot of it will be in the technology. You're seeing that with obviously Tesla (TSLA -3.65%) and others who are leaning into this, and it will be flexible, I think in all industries but certainly in auto. Where you've had a model that is inflexible, you have to go to the dealer, you have to do it one way, you have to finance it one way, you will see more consumer choice. Technology, what it does best is delivers consumers choice, autonomy and flexibility. You will see more and more of that. One example in auto refinance is, financial institutions famously have relatively short hours, 9:00-5:00. For folks who are working during the day, it is very hard to actually work in that schedule. What technology lose is time shifting, and because you can go through the process online with MotoRefi, you can go through it at 6:00 AM, at 10:00 PM, at 2:00 AM, it all works, you don't have to call someone during those 9:00-5:00 hours. I think you'll just see more of that flexibility and that will be in the distribution of vehicles, where it is Carvana (CVNA -8.53%) or Vroom (VRM -5.77%), or in a financing of those vehicles when it comes to solutions like MotoRefi that help consumers save money, but also introduces that level of flexibility and convenience that consumers are more and more demanding in the economy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Tesla, Inc. Stock Quote
Tesla, Inc.
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Carvana Stock Quote
$27.66 (-8.53%) $-2.58
Vroom, Inc. Stock Quote
Vroom, Inc.
$1.31 (-5.77%) $0.08

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