Plenty of customers spend most of their shopping time entirely online. With companies like Amazon growing consistently, and more consumers using the internet to avoid physical stores altogether, that pattern is now shifting into the auto industry as well.
Going to dealerships, shopping around, haggling over your price, and dealing with pushy salespeople has been putting people off car buying for just about ever—you can’t count the number of family members who always brought someone else along when they went car buying to make sure they wouldn’t be intimidated into a bad deal or a car they didn’t really want.
There was a time when physically shopping around and haggling was the way folks purchased all of their big ticket items, from televisions to furniture. The internet has made that whole process easier, quickly letting you compare prices from multiple sites at the same time. And it’s for items that someone will bring straight to your door.
People are now looking for a similar ease in purchasing their cars, as The Wall Street Journal reports. Tesla is currently the only company selling directly to their customers rather than using a third-party dealership, but it’s not alone in moving away from the traditional dealer model. Manufacturers like Cadillac, Porsche, and BMW are offering car subscription systems that bypass the buying process, allowing subscribers to pay a base fee that allows them the freedom to swap their car for a different one as many times as the system allows. Subscriptions can be done online—the dealership, then, becomes a place where you simply pick up or drop off your vehicle.
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