Ford has launched a new online sale service called Ford Buy Online. It says the new internet purchase tool is in response to growing customer demand to buy cars online.
It will not, however, compromise Ford’s expansive dealer network, insists Ford of Britain chairman and MD Andy Barratt. “We have the most extensive dealership network, which will remain to serve the many customers wanting to visit a dealer and for specialist retail, van and service assistance.”
Ford Buy Online has been developed with Rockar, the online specialist that founded Hyundai’s groundbreaking online sales service. Customers can go through the entire buying experience on it: that’s speccing a car, completing finance terms, and ordering it. Even trade-in terms can be agreed.
The car can be delivered either to a dealer or the customer’s home. Ford says all deals come with exactly the same warranty and breakdown package dealer-bought cars are offered with.
New FordStore in Manchester
Ford has introduced the new Buy Online service to coincide with the opening of its first ‘retail experience’ FordStore. This is set within the new Next flagship store in Manchester’s Arndale shopping centre.
It’s Ford’s first ‘store’ experience, complementing the traditional dealer network. It allows customers to browse, finance and order cars direct from Ford Motor Company away from the regular dealer network.
Within the Ford Next store, there are plentiful interactive displays, a helpful 15-strong team of Ford hosts – and five cars including a Mustang and new Fiesta ST.
The new system offers much more flexibility. Customers can check out cars in the FordStore, then go away and complete the order later online. At no point do they need to speak with a traditional car salesperson: they can do everything themselves through the new platform.
“Ford recognises a growing appetite to browse for cars in other retail environment and online,” says Barratt. “We are excited to be able to respond, through the partnership with Next, to the changing way consumers want to shop and interact with our brand.”