The pandemic pushed many in-person businesses to go online to survive and grow, including the automotive industry. Today Salesforce is announcing the launch of Automotive Cloud and its industry-focused platform, Drive 360, a software suite that digitizes the car-selling experience for auto manufacturers, dealers, and finance companies. The latest development from the enterprise giant consolidates customer, vehicle, and retail data to streamline car sales and create a more personalized experience for car owners.
With electric vehicles at the precipice of automotive disruption, McKinsey estimates that EVs will make up 10%-50% of car sales in the next eight years. Salesforce manufacturing and automotive executive Achyut Jajoo says that as cars become more like computers on wheels, the car ownership experience is trailing behind and very disjointed. “If these cars are going to be connected and giving data, wouldn’t it be great if someone actually took ownership of the data?” Jajoo says.
Anticipating the influx of data from EVs, Salesforce will use vehicle insights to facilitate proactive services and alert drivers directly of needed service before a breakdown occurs.
Salesforce says Driver 360 aims to transition away from the traditional car-buying ordeal of showroom negotiations into a more interactive customer-centric experience akin to the Apple Store. For manufacturers, the cloud suite will assist in expanding the growth of the direct-to-consumer model, and auto financiers can access a more transparent view of a vehicle or car owner’s history. The company also points to future prospects within the ridesharing sector of the automotive industry.
Last year, Salesforce announced its partnership with Ford; the automaker used the platform to build Viizer, an app that enables small-business owners who work outside the office—such as plumbers, electricians, caterers, and landscapers—to run their operations from the field.