Stephane Bailly (CAR Avenue): Reinventing the Automobile
With unprecedented challenges in terms of technological evolution, environmental standards, and digital investment, the automotive industry will evolve more in the next decade than it has over the past century. Stéphane Bailly, President of CAR Avenue says that this makes it vital for the sector to transform its distribution model and develop new services.
Can you tell us a little about your company?
CAR Avenue has been a mobility partner for private and professional users since 1920. Over the last fifteen years, we have expanded our network and diversified our activities to stay close to our customers and offer them more services. We operate in France, Luxembourg, Belgium, and Switzerland. Our network comprises 138 dealerships, employs 2,700 people, and sells 60,000 vehicles annually. CAR Avenue specializes in new and used vehicle sales, short and long-term rental, maintenance, repair, breakdown assistance, aluminum wheel renovation, installation of charging stations, parts distribution, transport, and logistics. CAR Avenue LEGEND is a service for those who want to enjoy sporty, historic, or iconic vehicles. We are also working on complementary concierge and home maintenance services.
“When our economy undergoes a revolution, the automotive reinvents itself!”
What are the main trends influencing your business?
The transformation of our economy and the automotive sector influences our business. Since Covid telecommuting has accelerated, retail and online sales have evolved, and residential, commercial, and tertiary real estate usage has changed, while industrial processes have been transformed. The semiconductor shortage and the ensuing war in Ukraine have had a major impact on the automotive industry. Automakers are responding to unprecedented challenges in terms of technological evolution, environmental standards, and digital investment. When our economy undergoes a revolution, the automotive reinvents itself! This sector will evolve faster in the next 10 years than in the last 100. Against this backdrop, it's vital to transform our automotive distribution model and think about the development of new services.
How is your company adapting to these new developments?
We anticipated the new automotive ecosystem based on the electrification of vehicles and digitalization would require restructuring and consolidation of the automotive sector. To meet the challenges, we upgraded the technological and digital skills of our teams. The training of our employees represents a crucial aspect of our aim to remain efficient! We also developed new services such as the installation of charging stations with CAR Avenue WATT. The European Union needs to encourage the development of an automotive ecosystem favorable to its economy, jobs, and environmental issues if there is an expectation of seeing the end of combustion engines by 2035. It must encompass the whole life cycle of the vehicle from manufacture to recycling, recharging capacity, and electricity generation.