They were valets when people parked cars, now $36.4 million in funding is directed to Stratim’s fleet management services. This is a muddled message, because it has not become clear yet that automakers will be auto managers on behalf of on-demand customers — at the high end of the market first. It makes sense that automakers will outsource some vehicle maintenance and service, but the dealerships will be contending for customer service revenue, too.
If auto dealers can transition to a service model, which they have had to out of necessity in many cases, they are better provisioned with real estate, service bays, and people than Stratim.
Through Stratim’s vendor marketplace, for example, Ford can request gas fill-ups for its Chariot shuttles. The next day, a fuel company will come to fill up the tanks and then send that information back into the system. With Stratim, Ford and other companies have a dashboard to better “understand how much money is spent on fueling, car washes, windshields and tire repairs,” Behr said.