Cluno, a company out of Munich, Germany, has been marketing car through a subscription model since 2017. The company's head of data science, Maximilian Ehrlich, recently spoke about the company's digital business models, how they use AI and big data, and how they work with more typical car dealerships.
Mr Ehrlich, how much potential do AI and big data offer when it comes to online sales of vehicles and mobility in general?
There is value added in many areas, including purchasing, sales, the shape of the offering and customer acquisition. Essential questions can be answered, for example, what kind of demand will we see at what time and for which car. That means supply and demand can be synchronized optimally and the right offering can be available at the right time. With the help of data analysis, we know which vehicle functions are preferred by a particular customer category. Variables include engine power, trim, powertrain or the size of the trunk. That way, we can make individual offers as well as introduce new mobility concepts. Such curated offerings help reduce time-consuming complex processes customers would otherwise have to engage in. Also, we connect data from different areas and process them in real time with the help of intelligent machine learning algorithms.
Dealer groups are partners in the Cluno business model. How open are German car dealers to new, digital business models?
Automotive retailers know that digitalization is changing the industry. Automakers already are developing digital business models. Individual dealers have a tougher time here, because many small and individual digital models are not particularly promising. That’s why standalone dealers are looking for partners with the relevant expertise. Cluno isn’t seen as a competitor, but as a partner in a consistent digitalization process. Also, a car subscription model addresses a different target group. Dealers of different brands can expand their stationary car sales business, thereby broadening their reach and expanding their business model.
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