Online companies are continually disrupting and changing how customers spend their money on everything from taxis, food, television, and trips. However for new car sales consumers are still visiting dealerships in person to make their final purchases.
That's starting to change in Europe, where automakers are developing pilot programs to move vehicle buying online. Automakers there say the shift to digital sales is in response to customer demand.
Next year, Ford will roll out an online ordering system in conjunction with the launch of its first standalone electric vehicle — a so-called "Mustang-inspired" battery-powered crossover. It's a significant milestone. With a new propulsion system comes a new mindset to buy it.
"We have to offer customers another way in," Ford of Europe General Manager of Passenger Vehicles, Roelant de Waard, told Automotive News Europe. "It's all about not prescribing how you want your customers to behave."
Joining Ford is the Volkswagen brand, which is rolling out a new information technology system to coincide with the launch of its ID family of EVs. That launch incorporates online sales as part of VW's wider shake-up of its relationship with its dealers and customers.
PSA Group CEO Carlos Tavares told investors in February that he wants online sales within the group to increase to 100,000 by 2021 from 6,000 in 2018. And across Europe, automakers such as Hyundai, Volvo, Alpine, Jaguar Land Rover, Mitsubishi, BMW and Mini are operating digital sales programs or pilots in selected markets.
Zhejiang Geely Holding Group subsidiary Lynk & CO, meanwhile, promises to launch next year in Europe with a strategy that predominately relies on online sales.
Read more here
Join us November 12-15 for the Property Portal Watch Conference Madrid 2019.