The rise of electric vehicles threatens the car industry as we know it, according to PSA Group electric and connected boss Helen Lees.
“EVs are far simpler [than internal combustion engined vehicles]," she explained. "They need less parts, less time in the workshop. Ultimately, it means less time in aftersales. That’s why we’ve chosen to diversify into areas such as shared mobility.”
Lees, talking at today's Auto Futures event, said: “We haven’t commercialised a lot of [mobility services] in the UK, but we will do, such as Free2Move, which encompasses anything complementary to car ownership or substitutes such as leasing or rental, but also our use of telematics and technology to enable peer-to-peer car-sharing. On our new vehicles, you can get a digital key so you can assign the car to others remotely.”
Lees added that despite the inevitable decline in aftersales revenue in the short-term, the increasing sales of EVs does bring opportunity.
“Whereas a lot of consumers might service their petrol or diesel cars themselves," she said, "they tend to come back into main dealerships for EVs, because the aftermarket operators aren’t necessarily ready for electric to the same extent as manufacturers are.
“We’ve got a short-term opportunity for aftersales where hopefully we can build loyalty and prove ourselves and break some of the myths about being ripped off by mainstream manufacturers.”
Lees said the loss of revenue in aftersales depends on EV market penetration, adding: “Longer-term, we'll sell fewer parts and less service hours on our EVs. When you look at the service plan pricing for Peugeot e-208, for example, it’s a third cheaper than the service plan for the equivalent petrol or diesel 208.