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[NADA Series] The Transition to Electric Vehicles With Alan Krutsch

  • February 25, 2023
9 min read
[NADA Series] The Transition to Electric Vehicles With Alan Krutsch

Ilana Shabtay, Fullpath
VP of Marketing

Alan Krutsch, Fuse Autotech
Director of Marketing and Industry Relations

Alan Krutsch is the Director of Marketing and Industry Relations at Fuse Autotech, a financial management system that consolidates online and in-store technologies for a seamless customer experience. Alan specializes in branding and identity, campaign strategy, creative services management, sales training, and process and change management. Before Fuse, he was the Director of Marketing at Apple Autos and Walser Automotive Group.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Alan Krutsch shares his experience at the NADA conference
  • Factors influencing electric vehicle adoption
  • The effects of Tesla’s recent price drop on electric cars
  • How demand for Fuse Autotech’s products has evolved over the last year
  • Alan talks about his company’s Formula1 simulator

In this episode…

Recently, Tesla has lowered the price of electric vehicles (EVs), causing interest in dealership EVs to decline by 44%. So what does this entail for dealerships, and what should you consider before transitioning to electric cars?

Besides cost, there are many factors to consider when selling electric vehicles. Alan Krutsch advises dealerships to start planning ahead for future transitions. This includes setting up charging infrastructure, finding inventory, and getting qualified to be an EV dealer.

Alan Krutsch, Director of Marketing and Industry Relations at Fuse Autotech, joins Ilana Shabtay in this episode of the InsideAuto Podcast to talk about the mass adoption of electric vehicles. They also discuss Tesla’s recent price drop for electric cars, factors influencing the adoption of EVs, and the change in demand for Fuse Autotech’s products.

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by AutoLeadStar, a company that helps car dealerships engage quality customers on the web and convert them into car buyers.

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Episode Transcript

Intro 0:03

Welcome to InsideAuto Podcast where we feature everyone and anyone you’d want to talk to you in and out of the automotive industry.

Ilana Shabtay 0:13

Ilana Shabtay, InsideAuto Podcast. Day two at NADA, and I’m here with Alan Krutsch, the director of marketing and industry relations at Fuse Autotech.

Alan Krutsch 0:23

And Don breaks over Dallas at the NADA show ready for day two?

Ilana Shabtay 0:28

Yeah, you had a you had you had quite the night last night.

Alan Krutsch 0:33

This was kind of a highlight because of our friends our partnership with Capital One. And we saw Weezer last night. Awesome, as the old saying goes Weezer rules. Yeah, they were do rule. It was really awesome. It was a wonderful party. And not only a large financial institution can pull that off. Kind of party. Yeah. But Jason was great. It was awesome.

Ilana Shabtay 0:57

Yeah. That’s great. And how’s the show going for you?

Alan Krutsch 1:00

Good. I think there’s a lot of energy here. This year, as you know, the industry kind of transitions in several ways. One, maybe back to pre COVID margin situation. Front end margins, not quite as easy to come by as it used to be. So dealers that are looking for efficiency, looking for different marketing tactics. I think there’s also some under other transitions underway, electrification, being the biggest one.

Ilana Shabtay 1:29

Do you feel like people are are talking about that here? The transition to evey, I feel like I, there’s a big there’s a big emphasis on data strategy and an efficiency. But are we also talking about EVs? You feel that? Yeah, I

Alan Krutsch 1:41

hear it. And I think the progressive dealers are starting to plan ahead. They don’t have the vehicles don’t have the inventory. Okay, we’ve got charging infrastructure, that’s still a challenge. But I think every dealer knows it’s coming. Lots of predictions about when it’ll be mass adoption, but dealers are starting to plan for it, because their OEMs are planning for it, you got to put a charger in, you’re gonna have to qualify to be an Eevee. Dealer. So this is in the back of everybody’s mind, although it may not be today’s revenue generator.

Ilana Shabtay 2:13

Interesting. And do you think that there’s going to be well, you said a lot of predictions about what’s going to happen? Do you have a personal prediction for that when there’s gonna be the mass adoption?

Alan Krutsch 2:22

Yeah. So if if I knew I wouldn’t be doing this for a living, obviously. But I think charging infrastructure has a lot to do with it. Yeah, I also think affordability has a lot to do with it. And I think that’ll come perhaps early on two directions. Tesla is clearly the most efficient manufacturer of electric vehicles in the United States. So as they’ve just lowered their prices, they could probably lower them more and still be profitable. They’re talking about bringing out a $30,000 or less, Evie, I think, Asian companies also, particularly Chinese companies, could kind of crack that affordability issue, as they start to come in when electric cars are 30 to $40,000. When there’s a charger near me, then I think consumers are going to start to say this makes sense. I like the environmental play. I think the other thing that’s maybe not as well publicized is they’re really fun to drive the torque and electric vehicles. Very exciting. Yeah, in an inexpensive vehicle.

Ilana Shabtay 3:33

I think you hit the how you hit the nail on the head with the affordability. It’s actually we looked at and there’s not so much data just because the price drop was pretty recent. But we did look at from our data. Evie interest in dealerships before and after the Tesla news came out about the price drop and we saw a 44% decrease in interest. In dealership EVs meeting, probably those people were going to Tesla. And fun even more fun of the fact is if we looked at evey interest across the board after Elon Musk made the Twitter announcement, and it wasn’t affected, meaning it’s obvious that price has a bigger effect on how people are gonna make decisions over anything else. So I think I think that’s probably very accurate. What you’re predicting is

Alan Krutsch 4:22

the number one selling luxury vehicle in America. So there’s a whole large segment of consumers that go, Tesla’s cool, but it doesn’t fit my budget. Yeah. It’s still a really powerful brand and brand can be acquired for $40,000 or less for a really nice car. whole big segment of people that now consider themselves a Tesla prospect.

Ilana Shabtay 4:49

Yeah, that’s great. Congratulations. Yeah. Right. Now, Fuse Autotech is all about efficiency on the floor for the dealers. Do you feel like that? What’s the difference between last year’s energy and this year two energies with dealers that are interested in your, in your tech based on the economy and all the factors of you know what we’re going through in the automotive industry. So I think

Alan Krutsch 5:12

to be a good vendor in the technology space, you have to discover a pain point, or a problem that dealers need help solving. And I think over the last two years, when you have that conversation, dealer said, my problem is getting more cars to sell at full price, right? I don’t have tech problems. In fact, I don’t have any problem other than how can I get more of these. And so as supply comes back, as margins start to compress, then we go back to efficiency. And I recall, when I was in the retail business, working as a General Sales Manager, I gave the speech every January to the team. So this is just the law of the jungle, we will all have to do more, sell more and be more efficient to earn the same money. Yeah, that’s the way the economy works. You can’t post I think, I wouldn’t say that the industry coasted. But because of the pandemic influenced

Ilana Shabtay 6:10

shortage, yeah, there was definitely some coasting going on. Well, it

Alan Krutsch 6:14

changed the dynamic. Yeah, changed the dynamic of what was important to a retailer, not as concerned about my process. Yeah. Not as concerned about technological efficiency. It’s all about supply. Can I get the vehicle, right? That’s not the case today.

Ilana Shabtay 6:29

No, it’s not. We’ve been talking a lot about that here. Thanks for joining, Allen, podcasts, anything else you want to share with us? You look excited to share more things.

Alan Krutsch 6:38

The only thing that I will share is the most fun I had yesterday is we have a Formula One simulator, right in our booth. And this was awesome. We had people taking laps at Monaco. But Bill Wallace, who is a fairly famous NASCAR driver, came over and drove and he drove the wheels off the thing. It was very funny. We have some great video. That’s

Ilana Shabtay 7:03

awesome. That’s awesome. Well, stay tuned to check that out. Perfect. morning when I came over to Colton, the CEO is just cruising on the simulator. So it looks a lot like a lot of fun. Good. Thanks for joining us. My pleasure. InsideAuto Podcast.

Outro 7:20

Thanks for listening to InsideAuto Podcast. Check out our other episodes with top entrepreneurs and industry leaders.

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