- PowerBand’s cloud-based transaction platform streamlines vehicle sales interactions among participants and eliminates unnecessary middlemen
- 90% of Americans now feel anxious or uncomfortable in real-life dealership settings
- Virtual auctions have unlimited potential as COVID-19 disrupts automotive dealership and auction industries
Fear of catching COVID-19 is causing many commuters to turn their eye to the auto market, to purchase a vehicle instead of taking a bus. But they are increasingly afraid of crowded dealerships. If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it is that the future of auto sales is online, and PowerBand Solutions Inc. (TSX.V: PBX) (OTCQB: PWWBF) (FRA: 1ZVA) is among the pioneers of this trend.
The public transit crisis around the world is clear. The number of users has shrunk, funding streams have become limited, and mass transit won’t recover from the pandemic with so many people living in fear. U.S. transit agencies may see an annual shortfall of as much as $26 billion to $40 billion because of the coronavirus, according to TransitCenter (http://nnw.fm/dy6hH).
This will likely lead to a significant increase in demand for personal automobiles in the post-coronavirus world, because people will continue to be physically distancing. In Wuhan, China, the first COVID-19 epicenter, car sales have bounced back, already reaching their pre-crisis level, according to the Globe and Mail (http://nnw.fm/eg2WB). Families in the city are reported to be buying second cars because they see personal vehicles safer than public transportation, the report said.
While this is great news for the automotive industry, it raises a host of issues regarding the best way to sell and purchase vehicles in a world where social distancing has become the norm. With nearly 90% of Americans reporting they dislike the car dealership experience, saying they feel anxious or uncomfortable in dealership settings, the industry has turned towards online solutions. Online-only vehicle auctions, for example, experienced a 33% compound annual growth rate between 2013 and 2017 compared to just 2% growth of physical auctions. The number is expected to grow exponentially as people are looking for safer ways to buy and sell vehicles so as to avoid crowded dealerships.
“Online car sales have traditionally made up 10 to 15 percent of the total U.S. vehicle market, according to Autopia, a company that helps consumers lease cars online,” reports Consumer Reports. “Dealerships and online sales experts tell CR that ‘contactless’ car sales strategies are increasing and evolving rapidly as new car dealerships learn quickly how to do it.
No one knows what the post-pandemic future will look like, but based on CR’s conversations with dealers and trade groups, consumers can, for the most part, expect to be able to buy cars like they buy a lot of other things – with their smartphones and tablets.”
PowerBand already offers this service. Its innovative cloud-based platform lets people buy and sell cars and trucks with never-seen-before simplicity, speed, and cost-efficiency on smart phones and other digital devices, from any location. The platform was developed by a team of experienced automotive, technology and finance experts around the core belief that consumers preferred to conduct automotive transactions online and avoid interactions with middlemen.
Against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, its popularity is skyrocketing. This is especially evident in the used-vehicle retail market.
PowerBand has already successfully launched and conducted ‘virtual’ auctions in the United States together with and D2D Auto Auction LLC, co-owned by PowerBand and Arkansas-based financier Bryan Hunt, director of J.B Hunt Transport. The highly successful virtual auctions, held on April 7th and April 16th, testified to the speed and efficiency of D2D’s unique transaction platform, which provides an alternative to physical auctions and their associated costs (http://nnw.fm/dOw26).
More than 1,300 dealers were registered on the D2D platform when it was launched at the end of 2019, and this number is increasing rapidly. The new cloud-based auction platform will be offered across the United States in the coming weeks.
For more information, visit the company’s website at www.PowerBandSolutions.com
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to PWWBF are available in the company’s newsroom at http://nnw.fm/PWWBF
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