The Future of Mobility and Impact of EVs on Automotive
Updated: Nov 12, 2021
Matt Tedesco is the National Program Manager for the BMW field team at Shift Digital. With a passion for emerging technologies, digital marketing, and sustainability, his team works with every BMW dealer in the U.S. on best practices for SEM, SEO, video marketing, and more.
Matt has been honing his skills in the automotive industry for the last 15 years, working at Cobalt, Epsilon, and PureCars. He has worked with nearly every OEM and hundreds of dealerships covering most of New England and the Greater New York area. Matt has a Bachelor's in political science and an MBA in Finance. Growing up, he was an All-American soccer player.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
How Matt Tedesco entered the automotive industry
Matt talks about earning his MBA and writing his thesis on electric vehicles (EVs)
How to charge an electric vehicle and how that is likely to change in the future
Maintenance, parts, and upkeep for electric cars
Matt shares some of the electric car innovations currently happening at BMW
The biggest challenges the automotive industry is likely to face in the near future
How to use digital marketing to attract customers into dealerships
In this episode…
Based on the big changes the world has witnessed over the last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, do dealerships know the percentage of car buyers that would be willing to buy an electric car without test driving it first? Can they predict the future of the industry as we move further to the online space?
Digital retailing in the automotive industry is skyrocketing, which presents a big challenge to big and small names alike in the space. How do you overcome the hurdle? In a bid to drive sales, dealerships have to put systems in place that will help bring customers back into dealerships to view and test-drive electric cars.
Matt Tedesco, the National Program Manager for the BMW field team at Shift Digital, is Ilana Shabtay's guest in this week's episode of the InsideAuto Podcast. Together, they discuss the impact of electric cars in the automotive industry. Matt also talks about the biggest challenges the industry will face in the near future, maintaining electric cars, and BMW’s latest innovations.
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.
Co-founded by Aharon Horwitz, Yishai Goldstein, and Eliav Moshe, AutoLeadStar’s state-of-the-art software automates a dealership’s entire marketing funnel and provides around-the-clock service for dealers.
Visit their website at www.autoleadstar.com to learn more about their around-the-clock marketing service.
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 0:14
Ilana Shabtay here, host of InsideAuto Podcast where we interview top dealers, GMs, marketers, entrepreneurs and thought leaders in and out of the automotive industry. And before we introduce today's guest, this episode is sponsored by AutoLeadStar.com. The AutoLeadStar platform is built on a technology so powerful it allows you to market, sell, and service cars as you would in the real world at scale and online, making one to one matches between shoppers and inventory. AutoLeadStar is the only platform that is powered by scale, speed, and specificity to change the way dealers do marketing today.
Today we have a very special guest, Matt Tedesco. Matt, how are you today? Good. How are you? Good. Thank you for joining me. Yes, we're excited to have you. We have a lot planned for this episode. But before we begin, I do want to give you a quick introduction. Matt has a Bachelor's in political science and an MBA in finance. Growing up, he played a lot of sports and was an all American soccer player. That's what we need to learn about that in this episode. He's been in the automotive industry for the last 15 years working at Cobalt, Epsilon and PureCars. He's worked with nearly every OEM and hundreds of dealerships covering most of New England and the Greater New York area. He's currently the national program manager for the BMW field team at Shift Digital, where he's been for four and a half years. He has a passion for EVs, which we'll also talk about today, emerging technologies and all things digital marketing. This is what we love to hear on InsideAuto. So Matt, thanks for joining us today. As you've probably heard on some of our previous episodes, it's a podcast tradition to open up the podcast and ask our guests how they got into automotive because it feels like no one gets in on purpose. So let's hear your story. How did you stumble into automotive?
Matt Tedesco 2:07
I know it was definitely not on purpose. I mean, I loved cars growing up. But I never saw myself getting into the automotive industry. When I originally went to college, I was at Brown and I was a pre med major. I wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon. To make that long story short, my mom got really sick, and I came back home. And her experience made me not really want to get into medicine. I ended up transferring schools and going to another one, decided to get a political science degree and was going to be a lawyer. My older brother is a lawyer and he convinced me that I don't want to do that. But I enjoy my free time. So I ended up after I graduated, I just worked at restaurants for a little while and started doing sales jobs. I was trying to get into pharmaceutical sales because I still loved medicine. And I applied for a job. That was a DSM. And I thought the job was a district sales manager, which is what they had called the reps at like Pfizer and Santa Fe events. The job didn't have a company on it. So I was actually on my way to work at a restaurant. I got a call from a company which happened to be ADP. And it was four o'clock in the afternoon. I interviewed at nine o'clock the next morning and literally fell into automotive. Wow, that's amazing. Yeah, yeah, it was the same title. So my, you know, not sure if I got hired by ADP, Cobalt or rates because they were all emerging at the time. But my title was the same. It was a DSM, it was just instead of a district sales manager, it was a digital solutions manager. And that was my first very automotive specific I'd sold Yellow Pages and other things before that, where I'd worked with dealerships. But that was just completely random.
Ilana Shabtay 4:01
Well, at least you had the experience of interacting with dealerships. That's definitely Yeah.
Matt Tedesco 4:06
So I had a bunch of Yellow Page clients. You know, because we're talking like 2005, six, when people were still buying Yellow Pages. And right before that, I sold telecommunications. So we were trying to give them t ones, the new phone lines and long before people had, you know, Wi Fi and all of these other things that didn't really exist back then.
Ilana Shabtay 4:31
Yeah. Wow. So the industry has come so far, and we'll talk about that. But you recently got your MBA. Right, congratulations.
Matt Tedesco 4:40
Thank you. Yeah, I finished it in December of 2019. I'm like many of the people last year because of COVID. I didn't get to walk. So it was kind of like I felt like one of the high school kids that was on the news. Like I've worked my whole life for this and I don't get to go to graduation. It was kind of depressing. thing.
Ilana Shabtay 5:00
Oh, there's a lot of TikTok and reels about that, too. I don't know if you're into that. Yeah.
Matt Tedesco 5:07
So it was funny too, right? So Cuomo, our governor in New York, yes. had just kind of opened everything up. And literally the next day, we got an email that if you wanted to walk for commencement you could walk was very limited. You can only have two people. I ended up going by myself, actually, because I have three kids and two of them and not one of them.
Ilana Shabtay 5:28
So right now there were your two favorite kids to graduate? Yeah,
Matt Tedesco 5:32
yeah. My daughter, and she'll pick one really? Yeah. And so there were six different ceremonies instead of one because of all the social distancing stuff, and it was like 35 minutes, like two people got up and spoke. Read your names. You're out. Yeah. So it's great. Great. Yeah. Super, super good experience. I'm glad that I did it.
Ilana Shabtay 5:57
Yeah. So congratulations on that. And you wrote your thesis on electric vehicles. So I'm really excited that you're here to talk to us about that today. Because we haven't covered this topic on InsideAuto Podcast yet. And I think a lot of people are interested in understanding, where's the industry going to go? Are consumers really aware or willing to make that change? Is that change going to happen in five years in 10 years? Tell me a little bit about the landscape of TVs and what it's going to look like for us? And then I'll ask them specific questions, too, because I definitely want to be educated on this, I don't know nearly as much as I should. So please, tell us what you think about this topic.
Matt Tedesco 6:36
Yeah, so when I started, like going down that path with my advisor, it was 2017. Okay. And really, at that point, it's just Tesla. Right? There's no other OEMs that is really trying to make that leap. You know, they've talked on the outside, right? So Tesla has just changed the landscape. Obviously, they've sold a ton of cars, right? they've expanded to China and Berlin and everywhere else that they are now. So,
Ilana Shabtay 7:10
and they control the crypto market, as we all know, so
Matt Tedesco 7:14
Yes, my Dogecoin is not doing great at the moment.
Ilana Shabtay 7:19
Tomorrow and say that he endorsed it, and then you'll be a millionaire. So let's I'm playing
Matt Tedesco 7:23
I'm playing the long game with something like Bitcoin, right? It was 10 cents. And now it's $40,000 for each one. So I'm just gonna leave that there for a long time. But the Evie is so so the EDS. You know, obviously, with climate change, and everything else that's going on like that, and the world TVs are going to really change the way humans operate. I think at the moment, people are still concerned with things like range anxiety, obviously, the price tag of a lot of them, right, so like Tesla's plaid plus is 150 grand. So that's pricing most people out of the market. But you know, like 50 years ago, computers were $30,000. So over the course of time, you know, these things will get much cheaper. Most OEMs, at this point, have some type of plan, whether it's Volkswagen or Audi, or BMW or Mercedes, everybody pretty much wants one or the other at the moment. And I think the most important part of that discussion is battery technology. So like, we'll just keep using Tesla's since they're kind of the industry leader. You know, their new battery, that is a solid state battery on the car that they're launching next year, has a 520 mile range. Right. So a lot of the cars like Volkswagen, it only goes 220 miles. Wow. Right. So I still think there's a huge range of anxiety for most people. And honestly, I don't think it's really warranted. And the reason I say that, though, is because how often do you really just pick up and drive 300 miles? Like most people don't do that. Right. Your daily commute is a global
Ilana Shabtay 9:11
pandemic, then? Yeah,
Matt Tedesco 9:14
I mean, you know, so I think like, let's say, you know, your husband and you like, if you have one that's Nev, and one that's a hybrid today. You're great, right? I think obviously, as the battery technology gets better and better over the course of time, you know, I think, like if if we make batteries that that go 1000 miles on a charge, and they charge in five minutes, I don't think anybody will buy a gas car ever again, that maybe some enthusiasts who want to hear the engine and stuff like that.
Ilana Shabtay 9:44
Yeah, but I also think that as it gets more normalized, they're probably more charging stations. And actually, I think this is something that you can talk about, because I don't I don't know what that's going to look like right? Or is that we're going to charge at home or are there going to be charging stations and our will that affect The the range anxiety,
Matt Tedesco 10:02
though Yes, yes. Yes and Yes. Right. So today most of the charging happens at home. You know, I think it's something like 95% of charging happens at home. You know, like, if you think about it like your normal commute, like most people, and I'll just use my Excel, I stopped at the gas station right before I got home. Right. That's, that's what I do. Right, other than just going home, but I, you know, daily, I don't drive that much even the field rep, right. Like I could go back and forth to New York City or from North Jersey to Long Island, and that's still only maybe 100 miles, maybe go back and forth all the time. Yeah, I'm up in Albany. Right. So I could drive using a Tesla. You know, I could drive from upstate New York to probably washington dc on a single charge
Ilana Shabtay 10:51
Matt Tedesco 10:54
Wow. Yeah. I mean, cuz Yeah, I mean, like, you're in Miami, right? How far is 300? miles from Miami? north of Orlando.
Ilana Shabtay 11:04
Or north of Orlando? Yes. For sure. North of Orlando. Yeah. Almost South Carolina, maybe? Yeah. I would say well, maybe like Savannah. I know. I'm not sure. Probably like Savannah is far.
Matt Tedesco 11:15
Right. It's far. It's really far. So you know, I think the thing that we need to really explain to consumers is 95% of the time you're going to be charging. Right? Right. If you really have range anxiety about something and you want to go on vacation, you can rent a car. Right? There's nothing that says you have to drive that car everywhere. Right. But in terms of the charging stations, I don't think most people understand how many there are today, because you don't look for them. Right. Great. Yeah, I mean,
Ilana Shabtay 11:48
like, I never noticed how many playgrounds there were. Because they were a playground for a toddler. I'm like, Oh, yeah. And it was like, four years.
Matt Tedesco 11:58
It's the same thing. Yeah, totally. Yeah. Yeah. No, they built that playground in 1987. Yeah, yeah. Yeah, the charging stations exist, but no one's looking for them. So nobody's looking for them. Right. So there's almost 50,000 of them today. And to put that in perspective, there's only 150,000 gas stations in the US. Wow. Wow. Right. So the current administration's plan is to have 400,002 charging stations. So we'll quadruple the number of gas stations that there are, yeah, that will throw from that person's body. Yeah, yeah. I mean, and with the batteries to the batteries, and creating fast charging stations, like I don't think, you know, it's a minor inconvenience. If you've got to wait 20 minutes, and you're on the thruway, and you've got to charge your car. But it's gonna be few and far between even today. Right, right. Oh, yeah. I mean, there's, there's so much that governments can do and OEMs can do. So for example, like if BMW decided that they wanted to, you know, install a home charging station with the purchase of the I four, that's coming out next year. That's a huge incentive that OEMs can do, like they could work with a, you know, a US based contracting company or electrician company. I don't know who those are, but right and and have it installed with the purchase of your vehicle, right, so that consumers don't have to do those things on their own. You know, the government can certainly incentivize those things in countries like Norway. You don't have to pay tolls. You don't pay parking. Right, you get tax credits. Yeah. So there's a lot of things that are working that can really incentivize consumers to go that way. I think there's actually two vehicles for the US that are going to completely change the dynamic here. One is the F 150. Right, which is the best selling vehicle in the US that Biden just did a test drive with. The other one, I think, is the Hummer, so there's that class of people generally Midwest southerners, right, that are truck drivers for the f150 or just like bigger SUVs and stuff like that. So when they launch a 1000 horsepower Hummer, right, that's as fast as a Porsche. But I think there'll be a Yeah, I mean, that's the other thing about this whole thing from a consumer perspective. I don't think people realize how amazing the cars are, from a performance standpoint. Right. So like, rivian, who's coming out with a truck and an SUV? Towards the end of this year, they're gonna start delivering cars, when you buy the upgraded battery, and of course, like 85 85,000 it's as fast as any Porsche. Wow, it's euro to 60 in three seconds. Rocket Ships, right? People are, yeah, people are. I'm like, I love fast cars, right? I think it's gonna be wonderful. Like the Tesla Roadster is like g forces. Yeah, right. It's zero. In one second, it's like literally taking off in a rocket ship. So yeah, there's so many things going on.
Ilana Shabtay 15:08
Now, what's the what's the parts and upkeep gonna look like for the EV? cars? Because I feel like maybe there's going to be less maintenance, but the maintenance will be more expensive. And that's a total assumption.
Matt Tedesco 15:21
Nope. Correct. Oh, correct. So EVs as a general statement has 40% of the parts that a car does today. Right? So there's the battery on the ground. Right? That's on the floorboards. Right. And then generally to two engines. We'll call them engines, power supplies that are going to each wheel on the front and the back. Yeah, right. And that kind of it. The rest of it is a computer. Right? So from that perspective, yeah, they're really computers on wheels, right. I mean, you may have seen in the news, right, Elon does some type of remote upgrade to every Tesla. And now they'll drive themselves, right. That's really the future. So again, like computers 50 years ago that were $30,000. Right, that cost will eventually come down. The industry is going to need more, you know, mechanical engineers and computer engineers and things like that, that we don't necessarily have today. I think from an after sales perspective, the training is going to be just unbelievably robust and different than it is today. Yeah.
Ilana Shabtay 16:32
Interesting. So you mentioned that BMW is one of the OEMs. That's obviously working on this. Can you tell us a little bit about the innovation that's happening at BMW, what should we look forward to in the future? I don't know, a year to 18 months from BMW.
Matt Tedesco 16:47
Yeah, so we have two vehicles coming out. The beginning of next year. One is the I four, which is the sedan. Right. But it's roughly 300 miles on a charge. I don't know the exact cost, but we'll say 55,000 ish. The other one is an SUV, which is the IX, which is pretty much the same. So those are both going to be in dealerships roughly March of next year. And after that, I don't know what the production pipeline is, but I'm sure that there will be a release of vehicles that they just haven't told the general public about yet. But those are the first two and they're coming. And they're both EVs. Yep, please. Wow. Yeah, it's pretty cool. Really cool. Um, yeah. From a competitive sorry. From a competitive standpoint, everybody's really launching their vehicles. Right now. Mercedes just launched Audi's launch. Although I believe Nissan, yeah, Volvo has some , there's lots of other industry competitors, like rivian and lucid motors and Faraday Future and tons of other companies coming out. Pollstar is another one that's owned by Volvo.
Ilana Shabtay 18:05
So Lucid, Lucid actually just opened up down the street from me. And I was wondering, yeah, in Brickell, they have I think it's one of their first showrooms that's opening up actually. So they're going to be a big competitor to OEMs as well. Hmm.
Matt Tedesco 18:21
Yeah, they're there, they have two sedans that are basically, you know, if he asked somebody who worked at Lucid Motors, they would probably call them the Tesla killers. Because that's basically what they are. Right? So they are super high performance, right? I think the one with Lucid air has almost 1000 horsepower. Super, super fast. Yeah, they're gonna they're gonna make a big splash. I think the problem that a lot of those companies that are going to have are like Rivian and Lucid Motors is they don't have a dealership base. So from a franchise perspective, they're going to run into the same problems that Tesla does, where they're only going to be able to sell them in certain states. So that'll be an interesting thing to watch in the future. What the government decides to do with that, if they're going to allow all of them to do it, because there's nothing that says Like, they couldn't stop Rivian from doing it. Right. Yeah, that is gonna say, yes. Yeah.
Ilana Shabtay 19:20
Yeah. Um, no, on that topic, we've seen some of your LinkedIn posts. We love them. I think it's really important to challenge the industry, because I don't think the industry is challenged enough. So what are some of the biggest challenges you think automotive will face in the next year? You can either pick and choose from some of the stuff that you've actually put out there on LinkedIn or you could surprise us with some new content. But what I mean is I am just I, you know, I also have a lot of opinions on this so we can go back and forth. But I'd love to hear from you first. What do you think those challenges will be and how, how should dealers start? Thinking about them.
Matt Tedesco 20:01
So I think COVID has created a really interesting scenario and the convergence of online digital retailing with IE V's, I think is going to have a big mess up in the industry. Right? The reason I say that is because we've really been moving over the last couple years and obviously COVID really accelerated digital retailing, right, and everything needs to be bought online, all of the OEMs want every dealer to have a tool, right? And make the buying process. Super simple, right? Do you think the industry is moving that way? As a whole, right? digital retailing to me now really just trying to make the experience in dealerships a lot faster? Right? So if you can spend, you know, only an hour in the dealership, as opposed to five hours, I think that's a much better consumer experience. The problem? And I think we're gonna have it, and I'll ask you this question, are you going to buy an EV? Without a test drive?
Ilana Shabtay 20:59
No, but I wouldn't buy any car without it.
Matt Tedesco 21:02
So. So that's the big challenge that I think is going to happen, right, we've had this big move towards doing everything online and not really going to the dealership. And I think all of a sudden, we're going to need to get everybody back to the dealership to test drive a car that they've never sat in, or written or driven or any that don't understand the new technology, or any of those things. So I think dealerships are now going to challenge to get everybody to do a test drive, where Yeah, they should probably do that today. But that's just not the way the world is at the moment. Right.
Ilana Shabtay 21:35
I think that's a really interesting perspective. Because I actually think that puts dealerships at an advantage, because they're going to bring people back in, they can work their magic, but and this is the big part that I think you're going to get to is how are you going to how are you going to make the digital marketing strategy so precise and targeted, that you're bringing in the people that you want to bring in? And you're making that experience? So positive?
Matt Tedesco 22:02
Yeah, I mean, my digital marketing perspective, the hand raisers and people who are interested in those, I mean, you can target people on Facebook, who are interested in EV, and hybrid technology and stuff like that. A lot of the first party data that we'll have from the dealership, you know, just sending out email blasts, and seeing who responds to emails and stuff like that. The whole convergence to me is really one of the things that we saw during COVID, which was trying to personalize the experience, right? So I may, instead of trying to get you to the dealership, bring the car to you. Right, we can come to a test drive, wherever you work, will pick you up, do a 30 minutes drop you back off, whether it's your lunch break, you're at your house, whatever that might be. That personalization, I think is going to have a huge part in the industry, especially for luxury brands, customers have really gotten used to like, welcome, get your car for service. Right, that's gonna be a hard thing to break from people who have gotten used to things like that. Yeah, so so that, but that's great, though, that's great from a dealership perspective, to have that one on one relationship with the customer. Where today, you know, or say two years ago, they're walking into a dealership, there might be 50 other people there, right at a busy dealership, and it's like, I don't know where to go, who I'm talking to, or any of those things. So I think all of it is great. You know, I do, you know, from the EV standpoint, right? I'm big on climate change and the stuff that we can do, you know, as a species. So I think the EV, and what Tesla has done is going to change a ton of other things. Right, like electric buses, right? We don't really have those here. But we're starting to write. I wrote a post that China has 400,000 fully electric buses, right, you know, like, I don't know about in Miami, but they're few and far between in New York. But anyway, right? out of, yeah, it's a big cloud of smoke over us. So there's a lot of little steps that are all happening. The battery technology, I think, is going to move things along like your computer. Like who doesn't want their MacBook to last for a week? Right or your wearable? Right? I mean, all of those things are really going to, you know, they're they're all converging at the same time, which I think is great.
Ilana Shabtay 24:27
Yeah, I think that's gonna be a big part of it. I also think there's more competitors that are coming into the space. So dealerships now are not only competing against dealerships down the street and Tesla and Carvana and eight, but it's now all of these companies that are coming in. And I think Apple and Amazon, they're all saying that they're going to bring their own cars. So there's going to be a really interesting landscape. Yeah,
Matt Tedesco 24:51
yeah, I mean, Amazon gave rivian $700 million. So Rivian has a partnership with Amazon. They also have a partnership. with Ford, who gave them $500 million. So Rivian is creating a fleet of 100,000 fully electric delivery vans for Amazon. Those have started to roll out today. So yeah, Bezos has a huge interest in EVs, as do many of them, right. So Warren, Warren Buffett has been invested in China since 2007. And a company called BYD that also makes electronics and batteries and all those other things. Bill Gates is invested in a company called quantum scape, which is building better battery technology just like Tesla did. They're also partnered with Volkswagen. So there's lots of money getting influx into all things, EV.
Ilana Shabtay 25:44
Which basically means we need to prepare for it happening.
Matt Tedesco 25:49
Yeah, yeah. And, and Apple too, right. So there was an interview with Elon Musk, maybe a year ago at this time. And he was asking about Apple he gave, he put the company up to bid for Apple or Apple wanted to buy it. And he decided not to do it. And I was like, six or seven years ago. And Apple is now building a fully electric car. And he said, you know, the interviewer asked him, Are you sure about that? And he said, it's kind of hard to hide when you've hired 1000 engineers for me to do it.
Ilana Shabtay 26:21
I read about that. I read about that
Matt Tedesco 26:23
interview. Yeah. So yeah, I mean, what is the Apple Car going to be like, right? I mean, yeah. It's crazy to even think about, yeah, that that ecosystem of like, I'm an apple person. So I got my Apple Watch, my iPad, my Mac, iPhone, right. Yeah, that's what I card. Right. Yeah. In my car, right. I'm sure that's what it will be called, right? That whole ecosystem of technology is gonna be crazy.
Ilana Shabtay 26:52
Yeah. It's crazy. Well, before we sign off, because this has been so informative for me, and I mentioned this before we signed on. I really want to wrap my head around EV. So thank you for being able to bring this content to us. Before we sign off, though, I need to know: Do you still play soccer?
Matt Tedesco 27:13
So I've been a little injured lately, but normally, yes. Yeah, I heard but yeah, I plan on marriage. Normally every summer and sometimes in the winter when I'm not skiing and stuff, but yeah, that's awesome. Well, we have a professional
Ilana Shabtay 27:28
soccer player here today, as well as MBA and a really just an incredible thought leader in the space. So Matt, thank you so much for joining us InsideAuto Podcast. If you liked this episode, please tune in. We're on all mainstream apps. So thank you again.
Thank you so much for having me. This is wonderful. Thanks for listening to the InsideAuto Podcast. Check out our other episodes with top entrepreneurs and industry leaders.