I have long supported the idea that the traditional role of the automotive salesperson is under siege and will soon be replaced; first by a legion of hourly, retail refugees and then by whatever online, kiosk, or other platform that finally cracks the car transaction as a service secret code.
I will admit I was wrong, at least about the first evolution.
Automotive retail giants have tried the product specialist position, someone that is not a salesperson, with limited success and failure. I thought that this shift would be successful because that is what customers wanted. Customers want salespeople, many times they need a salesperson to help guide them to a decision in a way no hourly product specialist could do.
The problem with the specialist is that because of increasingly complex rebate and finance structures and the burden of state and federal regulations a vehicle sale is a very complicated process. Just like a real estate purchase a vehicle purchase takes professional representation in most cases.
What people do want and deserve is a more professional sales experience which can only be provided by skilled and trained salespeople, not product specialists.