Identity & Fraud

The Evolving Auto Landscape: Trends, Fraud, and Technology

The Evolving Auto Landscape: Trends, Fraud, and Technology

April 12, 2024 | Olivia Voltaggio

With increasing fraud, consumer affordability issues and an uncertain EV market, where is the auto industry headed? In the latest episode of the Market Pulse podcast, we took a deep dive into the evolving automotive industry with Steve Greenfield of Automotive Ventures, Marguerite Watanabe from Connections Insights, and Jeremy Robb of Cox Automotive. The panelists offered insightful perspectives on how to navigate industry trends, the increasing challenge of fraud, digital transformation, and future forecasts.

Unraveling the Complexity of Automotive Fraud

Fraud is escalating in the automotive sector. Our experts discussed various forms of fraud prevalent today, from traditional schemes to more complex synthetic identity fraud. Steve Greenfield brought to light the potential risks associated with the growing integration of software in vehicles, highlighting cybersecurity as a significant concern. Marguerite Watanabe underscored the need for more sophisticated fraud detection and prevention mechanisms and emphasized the importance of industry-wide collaboration to tackle these challenges effectively.

Digital Transformation in the Automotive Industry

Digital transformation is reshaping the automotive industry, albeit at a slower pace than other industries. Jeremy Robb illustrated how the consumer's vehicle purchasing journey is increasingly beginning online, though many still complete transactions in person. Marguerite Watanabe pointed out that, despite the availability of digital tools like e-contracting, the industry is still experiencing varied levels of digital adoption, indicating an opportunity for further growth and integration.

Economic Factors Influencing Consumer Behavior

Another significant part of the discussion revolved around the economic factors impacting the automotive market and consumer behavior. Watanabe highlighted concerns regarding affordability, noting that rising costs and interest rates significantly influence consumer decisions. Jeremy Robb added that despite some decline in new and used vehicle prices, high interest rates continue to pose challenges to affordability and consumer choices.

The Evolving Landscape of Electric Vehicles (EVs)

The panel also explored the current status and future prospects of the electric vehicle (EV) market. Steve Greenfield expressed optimism about the long-term future of EVs, despite acknowledging short-term challenges, including potential political hurdles. This part of the discussion offered a glimpse into the complexities surrounding the adoption and growth of the EV market.

Forecasting the Automotive Industry: Next 3-5 Years

Looking ahead, the panelists shared their predictions for the next 3-5 years in the automotive industry. Steve Greenfield anticipated a focus on monetizing connected cars and foresaw margin compression for dealerships, likely leading to increased efforts in cost reduction and automation. Jeremy Robb speculated that interest rates might remain higher than in the recent past, affecting the entire industry. Marguerite Watanabe emphasized the growing importance of regulatory environments and data ownership in the industry’s future.

Key Takeaways from the Podcast

1. The Rising Challenge of Fraud: With the increasing sophistication of fraud in the automotive industry, advanced detection and prevention strategies are more important than ever.

2. Embracing Digital Transformation: While the industry is progressing digitally, there's still a significant opportunity for wider adoption and integration.

3. Economic Influence on Consumer Behavior: Affordability issues, shaped by economic factors like interest rates and vehicle costs, are key drivers of consumer decisions in the automotive market.

4. Prospects of the EV Market: Despite current challenges, the future of electric vehicles looks promising, albeit with some uncertainties.

5. Future Industry Predictions: The next few years may see dealership margin pressures, increased digitalization, and a growing focus on regulatory and data concerns.

Additional Automotive Insights

For more insights, watch our on-demand Market Pulse webinar from February, Strategies for Navigating the Auto Industry in 2024. Panelists go in-depth about auto affordability and keeping costs down while optimizing data and technology resources. 

Key topics include:

  • Affordability, market volatility, and a rise in delinquencies

  • Digital transformation in the retail space, including fraud and efficiencies

  • How inventory relates to vehicle prices

And be sure to check out other Market Pulse podcast episodes. You can listen on any major podcast platform, including YouTube.

Olivia Voltaggio

Olivia Voltaggio

Senior Content Manager, US Information Solutions

Olivia joined Equifax in 2019. She graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor of Science degree in advertising and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Olivia holds an Editing Certificate from the University of Chicago Graham School.