Tech in Automotive: Harnessing AI for Success

The recent "Tech in Automotive" event at CitySocial London provided a deep dive into how AI transforms the automotive industry. Phyron AI, CarCare, and Serviceform hosted the event, which featured insights into AI's practical applications, implementation challenges, and future landscape.

Key Learnings from the Event

The Power of Generative AI

Generative AI (GenAI) is revolutionising the automotive retail sector by enabling the rapid creation of personalised marketing content. This technology can generate original text, images, and audio, providing dealerships with tools to engage customers in highly personalised ways. GenAI enhances customer experience and drives higher conversion rates by tailoring content to individual preferences. However, the actual value of GenAI is unlocked only when dealerships feed it accurate and relevant information. This underscores the importance of data quality and management in harnessing AI’s full potential.

Optimising Operations and Decision-Making

AI-driven tools offer significant benefits in optimising dealership operations. From dynamic pricing engines to inventory management systems, AI can predict demand, streamline supply chains, and reduce costs. These efficiencies are crucial as dealerships face mounting pressures from market volatility and consumer expectations. Moreover, AI enhances decision-making by providing data-driven insights, enabling dealerships to make informed strategic choices swiftly and accurately.

Enhancing Customer Interaction

The integration of AI in customer interaction is a game-changer. AI-powered virtual assistants and chatbots provide real-time, personalised support, improving customer satisfaction and loyalty. These tools can handle various tasks, from answering queries to scheduling service appointments, freeing human staff to focus on more complex customer needs. This automation improves operational efficiency and ensures a consistent and high-quality customer experience.

Navigating the Challenges of Implementation

While AI offers numerous benefits, its implementation in car dealerships is challenging. Selling AI solutions to dealerships requires addressing multiple pain points:

  1. Data Quality: It is critical to ensure that the correct data is available and formatted. Poor data quality can undermine AI effectiveness.
  2. Integration: AI tools must integrate seamlessly with existing systems and processes. This requires robust IT infrastructure and support.
  3. Adoption: For AI to be effective, it must be embraced by all stakeholders within the dealership. This involves training staff and fostering a culture that values technology and innovation.

Strategic Buy-In and Utilisation

The success of AI in automotive retail hinges on strategic buy-in and utilisation. Dealers must see the value of AI and be committed to integrating it into their operations. This requires clear communication of AI’s benefits and tangible demonstrations of its impact. When dealership leadership champions AI adoption, it fosters a culture of innovation and continuous improvement. Moreover, it is essential that AI tools are user-friendly and provide clear, actionable insights to encourage widespread use among staff.

Is the Future All About Software?

In 2011, the famous and successful venture capitalist Marc Andreessen said, “Software is eating the world.” A dozen years later, he was right...even if he isn’t a car guy. Software is eating the auto industry. Software-defined vehicles (SDVs)—vehicles equipped with tech-powered capabilities that can be expanded and upgraded over time using software instead of physical parts—are becoming increasingly prevalent. The global SDV market is expected to hit around $211 billion by 2032. At that time, an estimated 95% of new vehicles sold will be “connected” using software tech.

Implications for the Industry

  1. Repair and Maintenance: SDVs will significantly impact the repair industry. For example, Tesla has managed several recalls via software updates without needing physical repairs. However, when physical repairs are necessary, they tend to be more complex and costly due to the high-tech nature of the components involved.
  2. Business Strategies: Building SDVs requires capital, labour, and marketing strategies different from traditional vehicles. Manufacturers are investing heavily in technology, and the payoff may take time. Many are looking to replicate the success of tech giants by developing profitable services businesses to support their hardware innovations.

The Shift to Subscription Models

Automotive manufacturers will likely borrow from the tech industry's playbook, offering car-focused subscriptions. For instance, GM and Stellantis aim to generate significant annual revenues from software services by 2030. This shift reflects the growing importance of connectivity features in driving brand loyalty and customer satisfaction.


The "Tech in Automotive" event highlighted the transformative power of AI and software in the automotive industry. From enhancing customer engagement with personalised content to optimising operations and driving innovation, AI and SDVs are set to revolutionise the sector. These technologies' strategic implementation and wholehearted adoption are the keys to success. With the right approach, AI and software can drive significant value and ensure long-term prosperity for automotive retailers.

Have a great week.