A historic disruption in mobility

A historic disruption in mobility - and the Nordics are leading the way

The car is perhaps the category within Schibsted Marketplaces that is changing the most, and it’s happening fast. The Schibsted moblity team takes us through the major trends behind the change.

After talking about the electrification of the global car fleet for more than a decade, we are finally seeing it happen. And the Nordic markets are leading the way. In Norway alone, 65% of all new cars sold in 2021 were electric (compared to 17% in Europe) and the other Nordic countries are rapidly catching up.

New consumer needs and behaviours have prompted car manufacturers to digitalise their user journeys, thus side-lining the professional car dealers to a greater extent with an “agency model”. In the future, the purchase process will be digital, taking place online and offering frictionless services and subscriptions to consumers. The Nordics are among the top five countries in Europe in terms of willingness to buy cars online.

This shift is causing several ripple effects, including these five impactful, underlying trends:

1. Car dealerships consolidate

Future consumers expect and demand a digital relationship to the car industry, both in relation to car buying as well as access to mobility. For the professional car dealers, this is a golden opportunity to move online and harvest the results of a transactional buying process – including reduced costs and increased revenue per sale. To remain relevant, dealers will need to invest heavily in new technology. The industry’s landscape is changing dramatically, and the winners are the players who offer the best holistic digital buying experiences, as well as new services for alternative car ownership models.

2. Car e-commerce reaches new heights

The digital maturity and expectations from both consumers and professional customers are increasing at an accelerated rate. And cars are no exemption. The market for digital car buying is expected to grow to NOK 9 billion in 2026, as the online share of used car sales increases. While both internal combustion engine cars and electric vehicles (EV) transactions will migrate online going forward, EVs are especially well positioned for digital car buying, as these models are not tied to the same legacy business models.

3. Consumers strive to eliminate pain-points

Car sales have begun to shift from consumer-to-consumer to consumer-to-dealer (or C2B in business lingo) at an increasing rate, as a growing number of consumers are willing to pay for convenience and want to eliminate the pain points of selling directly to another consumer. According to Schibsted Nordic Marketplaces projections, around 15% of the overall car flow from consumer-to-consumer sales is expected to convert to C2B sales by 2026.

4. The rise of new ownership models

Today we see the rise of new ownership models. The growing sustainability considerations among consumers, coupled with the global production halt of new cars, has pushed even more people to consider “access” versus “ownership” when it comes to their mobility needs. The leasing market is expected to grow in the coming years and key players are quickly moving to consolidate. And the same goes for car subscriptions. Already today, between 18% and 30% of Nordic car customers have considered, to some extent, accessing a car through a subscription model.

5. Content is king (or queen)

Cars are extraordinarily complex consumer goods and when viewed in combination with the electrification boom, that complexity is multiplied. Range anxiety, charging speed, home and away charging are a few of the new concepts to which consumers are adapting, and as a result, the use of online information during the purchase process is increasing.

Today, over 90% of Nordic car buyers go online in connection with a car purchase, according to Schibsted’s 2022 Nordic Car Buyer Study. A huge trend, or perhaps better phrased as an opportunity, that spans all the mentioned trends above, is the doubling down on mobility content – content that guides, engages and inspires as we all navigate this historic market disruption.