Farley Is Pleased, Best Buy’s Warehouse Studio Service, Wazers Rejoice

December 6, 2022
It’s an energetic Tuesday in Retail Automotive as we cover Ford CEO Jim Farley’s recent comments as the EV certification deadline closes. We also cover Best Buy’s move to meet consumers where they are at, as well as an in-car integration with the popular mapping app Waze
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Ford CEO, Jim Farley seems pleased that about two thirds of US Ford Dealers have opted in to the new EV certification plan that will allow enrolled dealers to continue to sell EVs beyond 2023

  • 1920 Dealers have signed on with 85% choosing the top, Certified Elite track
  • It’s not easy going as NY, Illinois, Connecticut and others have filed lawsuits, protests the Motor Vehicle Board, and involved US Senators noting potential violations of franchise laws to which Ford disagrees with
  • Farley maintained that Tesla started this bet against the dealer model and he intends to compete to keep it: “The future of the franchise system hangs in the balance here,” Farley said. “The No. 1 EV player in the U.S. bet against the dealers. We wanted to make the opposite choice.”
  • Farley said he stands by the rollout of the program stating, “There’s always a better way, But I don’t think we made, really, any big mistakes

Did you know Best Buy has a 40,000 sq/ft warehouse next to its HQ where 120 employees are on-set in a studio like environment ready to give virtual human-to-human service on ten categories of products from cameras to treadmills?

  • Served over 250k people since 2021 in what the company calls ‘digital clienteling’
  • Customer satisfaction has increased 20%
  • Customers initiate connections with virtual store experts through the website or app and can interact via text, chat, phone calls, live-streaming or screen sharing.
  • 200 additional remote team members from across the enterprise available to provide expertise for the virtual store
  • Best Buy’s online sales this fiscal year are on track to generate five times the digital sales pre-pandemic

Wazers around the world rejoice as Renault becomes first car manufacturer to package the popular map system Waze directly into vehicle’s multimedia system without the need for a smartphone

  • “Having Waze’s real-time navigation, routing and alerts built into the display of Renault’s vehicles, makes for a simplified and seamless driving experience,” said Aron Di Castro, director of marketing and partnerships at Waze.
  • This is made possible by the vehicles’ use of the Android Automotive OS also being currently integrated with other manufacturers: Polestar, General Motors, Chevrolet, and Volvo with Honda also on the way
  • The deep integration of the Google software will give drivers increased control over many more elements of the driving and media experience including the ability to control smart devices at home through the vehicles voice controls

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Kyle Mountsier, Paul Daly

Paul Daly  00:22

What's up everybody? You feel super productive. We've had meetings before the live show this morning but it's Tuesday December 6, we're going to talk about Jim Farley seemed very pleased BestBuy as a warehouse studio and Wazers are getting excited Wazers is no such a razor a Canadian word for some reason could be in such a ways are a great we'll talk about that.

Kyle Mountsier  00:48

Why did you come become like South cow, South California

Paul Daly  00:52

right there? I feel like that wasn't that was like Do you ever see the movie strange brew?

Kyle Mountsier  00:58

No miss that.

Paul Daly  00:59

Oh my gosh. Rick Moran. It's Rick verandahs Dan Akroyd epic Canadian hockey Michael Cirilo knows what I'm talking about guaranteed. 100% He has seen strange brew. We have a year in extravaganza coming up. I can't believe like, it's like, two weeks away from today. Two weeks from today, two weeks from today. I know. I can't believe it's gonna be December 20. Two weeks from today, because it still hasn't snowed in Syracuse. It's like 48 and literally last

Kyle Mountsier  01:25

night I told my wife I we were just hanging out watching a little baking show. And I was I turned to I was like, I think what's that? What's baking? Holiday Baking Championship? It's December, man. Come on. What else? What other baking show would you be watching? Got Jesse Palmer and the whole nine yards. I was like, I think December is over. And then like two minutes later,

Paul Daly  01:48

I was like, I feel like nada is done. That's already right. It just sorry, spring is just around the corner tax returns or latches on to skip that middle part. And none of us really want to go through. Also, hey, we want to give a good shout of congratulations out to our friends at CBT news. Jim and Bridget Fitzpatrick founded CBT 10 years ago, already and 10 years ago already. Look, we know what it's like to have to make news every day all day. And they have been pioneers. They've been pushing the boundaries. They but they did it you get it's easy to forget, like when they started that there was really nothing else other than

Kyle Mountsier  02:27

not a video wasn't even a big deal. 10 years ago, like I mean, if was writing, I mean, what YouTube had been around like six years or something like that. So to do that and not be like a regular TV show was still kind of a new entry. I think so that's, that's a kudos.

Paul Daly  02:45

Yeah. Kudos to you and your whole team. My very first automotive event full event was actually the CBT news event back when they did events in Atlanta. So that got me all fired up back then. So just congrats. You enjoy it. And thank you very much for what you're doing for the industry. Yeah, all right. Let's talk about some news. We have a fun show today. Sometimes he's doing something for the subway. We needed all those. Still, I still kind of pulled out. We got the record scratch in there and everything I just like

Kyle Mountsier  03:20

everyone felt in the room probably yesterday.

Paul Daly  03:24

Ford CEO Jim Farley seems pleased that about two thirds of US Ford dealership opted into the new Evie certification plan that will allow enrolled dealers to sell EVs beyond 2023 So everyone can sell them next year. I didn't realize that but after 2023 Only the people in the program 19 120 dealers have signed on with 85% of those choosing the top level the certified delete track, which involves an investment of about $1.2 million. It's not easy going right? We have New York, we have Illinois, we have Connecticut, a lot of other things are boiled down hauled down there and Virginia. Everyone is pushing back. A lot of states are pushing back, citing potential violations of franchise laws, lawsuits, motor motor vehicle board petitions, etc. Here's an interesting part. Farley has maintained that Tesla started this basically bet against dealers Tesla said, you know, we're betting against dealers. And Farley says I intend to keep dealers around. He says the future the franchise system hangs in the balance here. The number one Ed player in the US bet against dealers, and we wanted to make the opposite show. It's

Kyle Mountsier  04:29

such an interesting kind of, you know, we heard what he said at the Ford dealer meetings and then he says this at the Automotive News Congress yesterday, and the, you know, the general pushback from the state associations and a lot of and a lot of dealers that you talk to is like, Hey, Jim Farley seems like he's against the dealer. But the the portrayal from from a verbal perspective is this is for the dealer. This is actually enhancing our dealer relationship. And so I still there Just like a, there's a communication gap here, for sure. And I wonder, you know,

Paul Daly  05:05

I think it's a trust gap more than a communication gap.

Kyle Mountsier  05:08

Well, here's, here's my question is, if is if two thirds of your dealer body, which is probably all of your urban and suburban dealers, for sure, right? are saying, Hey, we're in on this plan, whether I mean, I understand there's a force, you know, there's a level of force and the timing and all that type of stuff from a commitment perspective. But like, if, like those 19 120, dealers could have got together and been like, hey,

Paul Daly  05:35

yes, yeah, he compelled he compelled that many. Right? They've compelled that many whether through to move takeaway or to the vision.

Kyle Mountsier  05:45

It's almost like in order to sell EVs, you are going to have to invest $1.2 million anyway. So why not?

Paul Daly  05:51

Without a doubt? Without a doubt, right? Yeah. So I think, you know, you know how sometimes people have the same end goal in mind. But their philosophy on how that gets achieved best is just different. So I think the real question swirling, right, is Jim Farley, a dealer advocate, for an advocate for the dealership model? Or is he positioning the company in a way where they can be that now but then they're going to pull away, which I think are the questions that are surrounding. I know a lot of dealers who love Farley. Right? A lot of dealers do. Obviously 19 120 signed on to give at least a shot to see how we're, how it's gonna go. You know, he said, When asking, I think they asked like if he regretted going into this, because obviously, there's a lot of conflict. He said, No, I stand by the rollout of the company. He said this, there's always a better way. But I don't think we made any really big mistakes. So I think that's kind of heads up, right? Just being like, look, there's always a better way to do it. Like we did the best we could I don't think we made any tragic mistakes. And we're gonna see how it goes. Regardless of whether you like it, or you don't like it. It's in the motion. It's happening there legal contest, but

Kyle Mountsier  06:56

honestly, I still think they have some of the best chance to rival unless Toyota kind of like presses the gas pedal and goes quicker. I think they have

Paul Daly  07:05

called the accelerator Kyle, the gas can't call off the gas pedal anymore. He's like, Oh, we were there

Kyle Mountsier  07:16

 already there. We can't even say the gas. I don't pass as an EVs. Okay.

Paul Daly  07:22

It's got to be like the phone button on my phone that my kids don't know what it is because it's a picture of a phone and I've never seen I've never seen a headset, put a cell phone on there. Right? I started to tell you but you're like saying and let's talk Toyota really decides to lean in, really decides

Kyle Mountsier  07:38

to lean in and press the accelerator pedal on EVs. Ford has the closest earliest chance with you know the number of EVs that they're bringing to market the way that they're positioning themselves in the market, they have the best chance at gathering gaining more of that market share early and so, you know, I think that's why probably dealers are going hey, let's get on board with this. Let's see what happens like nothing's gonna crush us for three years. We're still stable. We're in a good position. And, and let's let's write it out. So I, you know, I'm gonna be fairly optimistic, although I understand that there are still a lot of people that are still raising a big old eyebrow at Mr. Jim Farley. Bagel eyebrow.

Paul Daly  08:18

Well, he didn't say too. He said, like, look, let's be clear. It's like Ford. Our goal is to be number two, as fast as possible. Yeah, right. He's like, he's like, we're not we're not playing for like, we're going to be right on the tail. Thanks for everybody leaving comments in the live stream. Sorry. Sometimes it's a little delayed by the time we see them. So Brian, thanks for dropping comments about sales and service EVs. I see strapline comments about the remix button. Adam Ross is groaning about the gas pedal metaphors is what about dialing a rotary phone. So we appreciate all the interaction in the comments. Also, if you're in LinkedIn, I think Facebook to your Instagram or not on Instagram, you hit the little thumbs up and like buttons when you see something that you like, or that you want to support. So when people come back and watch it, they'll understand and you can make your voice heard. Speaking of making your voice heard when it comes to

Kyle Mountsier  09:05

consumers phone calls,

Paul Daly  09:07

phone calls, no rotary phone calls. This shocked me. Hey, by the way, Kyle, did you know that best buys a 40,000 square foot warehouse next to his headquarters? Did you know that? Now, here's my question to you. Do you know where Best Buy's headquarters is? Ah, I did not know this, which is why I'm asking you and I didn't put it in the show notes. So you don't

Kyle Mountsier  09:31

know. No, but I feel like it's in Ohio somewhere.

Paul Daly  09:34

I could be wrong about that. Hey, it's in Richfield, Minnesota, Minnesota. Wow. Right outside Minneapolis St. Paul. So they have this 40,000 square foot warehouse next to its headquarters where there are 120 employees and the warehouse is built like a studio set. So it's got great lighting. It's got this environment ready to give virtual human to human service on 10 categories of products everything from cameras to treadmills, so base Technically, you can virtually, like link into this through, you know, like online portals. I don't know exactly how you get in. But when you get in, there's somebody a human on the other side that will actually walk you around the product. What did you want to see? You want to see this? Let me show you this treadmill. Let me like show you where the buttons aren't you telling

Kyle Mountsier  10:16

me, Paul? is they have a showroom? Yep. Okay, sounds good. Well,

Paul Daly  10:23

they have a studio now have a studio.

Kyle Mountsier  10:27

I mean, look at our showrooms look at dealer, showrooms. They're literally studios. They got they got

Paul Daly  10:32

Oh, yeah, I see what you're saying. I see what you're saying, right, like what the products are displayed. And people can kind of make a connection with the actual product and where the little

Kyle Mountsier  10:41

seminar because people ask retail establishments see a value in some sort of studio like environment with great lighting the sun's natural light the ability to virtual video in order to serve customers in the US in a virtual retail experience. You mean that's a thing.

Paul Daly  10:58

And apparently, they've served over quarter of a million people there since 2001. When they started it in what they call I love this phrase, that's digital client telling. These are our clientele. What do you think about that changes? The whole vibe doesn't mean

Kyle Mountsier  11:14

it's a concierge type of service. I mean, that's, I feel like that's an elevated type of serve

Paul Daly  11:20

fill, it gets a Nordstrom term. Yeah, right, we're gonna, we're clienteling. So since they've done this, actually, their customer satisfaction scores have gone up 20% overall. And, you know, they can connect out here, I had some notes, they can connect via an app, via chat phone calls, live screen streaming, or even screen sharing. They have 200 additional remote members that also provide the service like two that can answer questions about technology, and their online sales this year are on track to be 5x what they were pre pandemic.

Kyle Mountsier  11:53

And that's wild, because we're seeing a lot of digital companies that are heavy in E commerce actually seeing that decline at a rapid rate. And so we think that still like if you serve the customer, where they're at in a unique and creative ways, which is what they're doing, you can continue to do business in multiple different environments. So whether it's brick and mortar or online, they've found a way to capture an audience and engage them in a different way than maybe everybody else, which is just like, well, here's my fancy website, they put some people behind it, put an experience behind it. When you do that, when you put people in experience behind anything, I don't care what it was, people will be attracted to it. So I think that's the lesson here for me is, hey, look, whether it's a 40,000 square foot warehouse, a 20,000 square foot dealership, or a virtual online experience, like all of those places can craft a unique experience with people behind it. And they'll create a higher level of engagement and any it doesn't matter whether it's pre pandemic, post pandemic, whether we talk about pandemic or all, that's just the recipe for good businesses. Yes,

Paul Daly  12:52

connection happens through engagement. We can't we shouldn't you know, we need to dial in and record this. I got to see what this experience is like. I'm super, super, super

Kyle Mountsier  13:01

unified. You're trying to buy a PS five.

Paul Daly  13:03

I want to buy anything.

Kyle Mountsier  13:07

Yeah. demonstrate to me the treadmill please. No. Faster.

Paul Daly  13:12

Does it still work when you run backwards on it? Just give him all the directions you want. Speaking of giving directions, segue? Wazer there could be in such a ways or

Kyle Mountsier  13:27

are you a Wazer?

Paul Daly  13:28

I'm not I'm not gonna ask you the same question. Why is there so Wazers around the world rejoice? Because Renault becomes the first car manufacturer to package the popular map system. Waze is what we're talking about, directly into a vehicles multimedia system without the need for a smartphone. So it's integrated. People that have Waze, love Waze. Because what? I wish I knew more about it. But as far as I know, like, you earn points in ways they've gamified it,

Kyle Mountsier  13:56

yeah, they've gamified it. And like, there's a lot more interactions you can take about notifying other people of what's on the road, but doesn't Google own ways. So like they do. And

Paul Daly  14:05

you start to see some ways in integrations now in Google Maps, and they take the data like when you know where people are in traffic, and how that's because people are on Google or on ways in some way, and they can track where it is, you know, where an accident isn't gonna say it wasn't gonna say it. Here's a quote from Aaron de Castro, director of marketing and partnerships at Waze. He says having Waze is real time navigation routing, and alerts built into the display of Renault's vehicles makes for a simplified and seamless driving experience. And this is only possible because they're running on the Android platform and built on because Andrew was about Android automotive. And you've said this before Kyle, you're like, good, because we should let the software level

Kyle Mountsier  14:45

software people software. Yeah, so it's probably kind of fast. It probably actually works. The touchscreen is dynamic and probably actually worked, you know, so no, I think it's I think it's a great call and and putting in some of the app ecosystem is really smart. I mean, the the genius play here is to, to like do some level of mirroring with the phone, right? Have a have a you have a loop login system and create basically the same technology. I mean, it's similar to like, if an Apple user has their iPhone and their iPad and their and their Mac, like you just add another entity to your digital ecosystem which can now be the car right? So you have your Android phone, your Dell computer and your you know, and just everything works together seamlessly integrates all your logins move together, like there's no reason why you shouldn't be able to go copy all my settings from my previous car, boom, here it is in the next car. So I think all of that just like Waze is just like the first step. Without digital ecosystem. Absolutely,

Paul Daly  15:46

I'm sure car. Charles Higgins just dropped the comment. He said Waze also facilitates ride share, which is an interesting thing to think about. Other manufacturers are also currently building on the Android automotive system have not yet released Pollstar, General Motors Chevrolet and Volvo with Honda being soon on the way it's gonna be very interesting. Like if any of you ever logged in, is this the first time someone's logging into their Google account? In their cars OS? It's gotta be

Kyle Mountsier  16:12

so smart. It's got to be well,

Paul Daly  16:15

I mean, without a doubt, we got some good things to look forward to. I mean, Google know everything, your driving habits, you breaking habits, it's gonna be awesome. They know. They know if you'd like to go fast or slow.

Kyle Mountsier  16:24

Talk about insurance integration. Next. Oh, Google insurance. Let's

Paul Daly  16:29

go. It's Tuesday. You have a lot of work to do. We have a lot of work to do. Hopefully, you'll share some of this information out let people know what's going on. And if you haven't yet, sign up for our email at a sober.com

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