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Mercury C557
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Discussion Starter #1
Ford is first car manufacturer to sell its cars on internet -

Ford’s dealership group will this week become the first of its kind to sell its cars direct to customers via the internet.
By David Williams
Published: 7:00AM BST 28 Jun 2010
Experts say the move by Britain's biggest car seller will trigger a stampede of similar initiatives from rival companies.

Ford's own research has revealed that, in an age when consumers are happy to buy clothes, holidays and washing machines online, nearly four in ten buyers now want to buy their next car on the internet.

Even if it means not taking a test drive.

Fifty dealers wholly-owned by Ford will begin selling new and used cars - as well as commercial vehicles - over the internet from June 29.

Every Ford model - including the Ka, Focus, Mondeo and Galaxy people-carrier - will be available and consumers will be able to purchase their new car by email. Alternatively, buyers can contact a new call-centre to make the order.

The motorist's new car will be delivered by to one of 12 regional delivery centres, where customers will inspect the goods, sign a final document and drive away.

"Consumers are now ready to fully use the internet in the car industry," said Steve Hood, managing director of

"In the past, many customers have used the internet for gathering information and then visited dealerships for advice and test drives.

"Whilst many customers still continue to do this, 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.

"It shows that consumers are now ready to fully use the internet in the car industry."

The car giant says that 550 independent Ford dealers will carry on selling the firm's cars as usual, to cater for the six in 10 consumers still demanding a traditional 'hands-on' road test.

The list prices offered to online buyers will be the same as those available in showrooms. Just as buyers using the traditional route often haggle for a lower price, internet customers will be able to do the same online.

"This is an important turning point; other manufacturers will have to find similarly innovative ways to compete," said Dr Peter Wells, of the Centre for Automotive Industry Research, Cardiff.

"Operationally it makes sense to hold stock centrally and get it out to the consumer but this does risk losing some contact with the customer. There is still a future for the dealer, even if they are finding it tough at the moment."

Ford decided to launch its internet sales operation after its own research revealed that motorists wanted to save time by not visiting dealerships.

More than one in 10 of those questioned said they found visiting a dealer 'stressful', while more than two in 10 were intimidated by feeling obliged to haggle.

Ford found that most motorists seeking to buy online were looking to spend between £10,000 – £20,000 and wanted a 'hassle free' process.

Of those interviewed 59 per cent already bought books, music and DVDs online, 55 per cent bought insurance online and 52 per cent used the internet to buy holidays.

Not all manufacturers are prepared to move to online retailing, however.

A spokesman for premium brand Audi, said: "We would not do it because people like to sit in the cars and touch them. And the dealer is there to help with the decision-making process.

"There is also too much variation in what we offer to do it online."

Last year Ford sold 372,000 new cars and vans in the UK, taking the largest share - 16.7 per cent - of the total market.

1 Posts
Sorry to jump on your forum but I just saw this article and just had to comment as it really annoys me and others in the industry.

Ford are full of crap! Most dealers have been selling cars online for years and Ford retail has been so far behind that they have paniced and put together a team of overpaid numpties to try and to sort it out, they were loosing sales all over the place to competitors like us we regularly sell into Ford Retail towns and cities, like every WEEK we make at least 2 or 3 sales into one of their towns. <-- first car sold 2005 <--- first car sold online 2006

Ford are full of crap!!!!!

We have 15 staff who deal with online sales and our own liveried up Transporter to keep transport costs to a minimum for customers, Fordonline are well aware... we have even moved on to the next level selling vans online from our van site

Mercury C557
22,734 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Welcome to the forum, fucus_cars!
& sorry it was something upsetting that brought you here
imho, most-all of us know that dealers have had internet sales depts for quite a while...

the thing that's news about the above article imho
is that the organization mentioned in the article is "Fifty dealers wholly-owned by Ford"
this is a step closer to Manufacturers beginning to SELL-DIRECT

Hope you keep coming back - we *LOVE* having members IN the business!
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