Auto finance and insurance experts say the sector is in recovery
Marius van Reenen, Chief Operating Officer of MiX Telematics Africa, joined a panel discussion with industry peers at the recent F&I Summit to talk about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the industry and how many business sectors in South Africa are starting to recover.
Reflecting on the performance of the industry and MiX Telematics, a leading global SaaS provider of connected fleet management solutions, Van Reenen acknowledged that there were still challenges in certain verticals such as rental, hospitality and entertainment, but that the company continues to perform well despite the tough economic conditions attributed to the pandemic.
“It’s been a very interesting year – obviously with Level-5 lockdown in South Africa last year, we saw a severe drop in both consumer and commercial vehicles with movement going down to virtually nothing; with only certain vehicles allowed to travel. However, what is very promising is that in the last three months, we have seen an increase in fleets across most industries and we look forward to the levels that we experienced in 2019,” he further commented.
Van Reenen also addressed how data collection and analysis needed to be adapted to the new norm of 2021 and beyond in order to meet the needs of both B2B and B2C customers.
“Historically, the majority of products were track-and-trace type solutions as the main interest was a vehicle’s location at a particular point in time. Now, however, the world is changing where asset data is continuously consumed and further enriched with other data sets that provide actionable information and business intelligence,” he said.
This type of rich data in terms of risk management, safety and efficiency are invaluable for businesses and consumers. For example, dealerships are able to utilise the data to know when a vehicle’s next service is due, helping to communicate with customers and making sure that the terms of their service and maintenance plans are adhered to so that claims are not repudiated.
“It’s about understanding the underlying behaviour and being able to predict what maintenance is likely to be needed on particular vehicles, helping dealerships structure their stock holdings of consumables and related items in order to be able to service a customer timeously – all possible with rich data and artificial intelligence,” he said.
The F&I Summit, which took place virtually in May, saw over 550 delegates benefit from this dynamic and highly interactive programme, which included local and international experts, industry stakeholders, motivational speakers, and highly regarded sales experts.
This event brought together the best and brightest executives in auto finance and insurance to provide industry stakeholders with up-to-date information, innovative sales techniques, and unparalleled networking opportunities to help navigate the year ahead. Other sponsors of the F&I Summit included NADA, Lightstone Auto, Motorvaps and Absa.