The Future Car: A Siemens Podcast


Shift founder Toby Russell on the digital transformation of used car sales - Part 1

Season 3, Ep. 11

For most people buying a used car is an unpleasant experience that they only go through because they have to.

All the haggling and sometimes ‘clever’ misrepresentation of the vehicle’s value add up to create a bad experience. And buying a new car isn’t a great experience either, especially when you consider the drastic depreciation right after driving off the parking lot.

None of the two happens because it’s impossible to get value for money when buying a car. It happens because the murky process benefits the salespeople involved by allowing them to take advantage of their customers.

In this episode, the first part out of two, Ed Bernardon interviews Toby Russell, founder and former CEO of Shift. He’ll share with us how his company creates a great customer experience in the used car market. He’ll also share with us how the ‘customer forward approach’ helped them in creating a successful business.

Some Questions I Ask:

  • Was there a personal experience that made you want to start Shift? (05:10)
  • What are the secrets and pitfalls behind new car buying and selling? (09:45)
  • Have you ever rejected a car because it didn’t meet Shift standards? (20:00)
  • What do you mean by “working back from the customer”? (27:16)
  • What in Shift shows the customer forward approach? (30:34)

What You’ll Learn in this Episode:

  • The ideal used car qualities (13:30)
  • Qualities of cars that can be classified under Shift Value and Shift Certified (15:01)
  • The optimal used car that gives the best value for money (17:45)
  • What inspired Shift to introduce car financing (24:35)
  • What it took to create a great car buying experience (32:06)

Connect with Toby: 

Connect with Ed Bernardon:

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