eBay Ups Its Digital Automotive Game

eBay Ups Its Digital Automotive Game

It’s no secret that digital technology is bringing historic change to the automotive industry, and the latest example comes from eBay. The online marketplace announced that it has extended its tire installation coverage to some 3,500 shops.

The news comes not only as the connected vehicle ecosystem is developing, but also as digital technology is changing all parts of the automotive industry and experience, from finance to repairs. In this specific case, eBay, according to a statement, has formed a partnership with repair and maintenance platform CarAdvise to  add “3,500 tire shops to eBay’s tire installer network, including top national chains like Firestone, Tires Plus, National Tire and Battery and Tire Kingdom. Thousands of additional brand-name shops within the CarAdvise network are slated to roll out over the coming months. eBay Motors’ shoppers now have access to more than 10 times the amount of current tire listings that offer installation services at checkout, with even more added throughout the year.”

The online marketplace launched its tire installation service in 2017.

The partnership with CarAdvise covers service options and payments. According to the statement from eBay, “Through the collaboration with CarAdvise, auto buyers shop top tire brands and conveniently add professional installation services with their purchase. At checkout, customers are prompted to choose a service provider in their local area and complete the transaction. Following payment on eBay, customers easily select a preferred date and time for their installation appointment, and can even add additional services like a wheel alignment or oil change via the CarAdvise platform.”

Auto Repairs

Auto repair and maintenance services are going increasingly digital. Further evidence comes from Porsche, the luxury car brand.

As PYMNTS has covered, Porsche is using augmented reality technology in an effort to speed up vehicle repairs, a move that could severely reduce the time drivers must spend in dealerships. The car brand has said that Porsche Cars North America has started to roll out its “Tech Live Look” program to some of the 189 Porsche dealers in the United States. “The system connects dealership technicians to remote experts via smartglasses for a live interaction that can shorten service resolution times by up to 40 percent,” Porsche Cars North America said in a statement.

More specifically, Tech Live Look – among the latest augmented reality ideas that have popped up recently to better serve U.S. consumers – “combines computerized eyewear and augmented reality software to allow remote experts hundreds of miles away to see what a service technician is seeing and provide feedback while the technician works hands-free,” the statement said. “The system uses industry-leading components: ODG (Osterhout Design Group) R-7 smartglasses and the AiR Enterprise software platform from Atheer Inc.”

Auto Finance

Auto finance, too, is going through digitally focused changes.

As connected cars – that is, the vehicles that enable deeper forms of mobile payments and commerce than is the case now, including activities that involve fueling, restaurant reservations and the like – move closer to reality, there is fresh attention on what changes that could bring to auto lending and leasing.

One recent analysis called it a “new layer of complexity,” at least when it comes to leasing, thanks to connected vehicle technology.

That’s because “conventional leasing models, whereby contract prices are determined by fixed parameters – i.e., mileage requirements, car choice, duration, residual value – will no longer be enough,” according to Daniel Layne, founder and CTO of Quotevine, which sells automated finance technology. “With over-the-air data or software updates, connected cars have the potential to become smarter, and therefore actually increase in value throughout the duration of the contract as new functionalities are added to the car,” he said.

In fact, there is a race going on for control of the data from connected vehicles. As PYMNTS has reported, nearly every new vehicle that is bought or leased is, by default, programmed to share data with manufacturers. Vehicle owners must consent to the data sharing, but they often give their permission unknowingly when signing lengthy or multiple documents at the time of purchase – when consumers are often eager to take the keys and drive off the lot.

No matter the specific area of automotive – tires, repairs or finance – digital technology is fueling massive change in that longstanding industry.