Hate schlepping from showroom to showroom looking for a new car? You’re not alone, and Ford Motor Co. hopes to win over the legion of motorists who’d prefer to buy directly online with an all-new website. The only problem is that it’s only available to buyers in the United Kingdom.
The automaker says its research shows that a whopping 40% of potential customers see no need for a test drive. So, if they don’t want to kick the tires, they can click a mouse, as our friends at AutoBlog.com report.
As of this month, U.K. customers can work through 50 dealers – about 8% of the company’s total outlets — who are ready to take their orders directly on line and then deliver a new or used car, truck or crossover through one of 12 pick-up points the maker has set up around the country.
All Ford models will be available through the new process and even technophobes can participate, since the automaker has also set up a call center for those who don’t or can’t send e-mail.
“Consumer are now ready to fully use the Internet in the car industry,” said Steve Hood, managing director of Ford.Online.co.UK, which is handling the direct sales operation. “We are now witnessing a significant proportion of Internet customers that both know the car they want and are prepared to buy it direct if the Internet retailer is credible.”