Spannender Bericht aus den USA, wo die Kunden mittlerweile anscheinend den Onlinekauf von Fahrzeugen deutlich bevorzugen.
Rhett Ricart, head of the Ricart Automotive Group in Columbus, Ohio, tells the Detroit Free Press, “This is going to fundamentally change how people view buying a car. By the end of this year, you’re going to see 80% – 90% of U.S. new car dealers with full e-commerce capability in their shops.”
Everything will be handled online including arranging for test drives, he says. Final signatures have to be “wet” — meaning they take place in person using a pen — in order to be legally binding today, but virtual signatures are becoming common in many daily transactions. There are moves afoot to make them legal for formal documents like sales contracts as well.
It’s easy to consider Rhett Ricart’s words as just one man’s opinion except for this. He is the current chairman of the National Auto Dealers Association, a group which has been vigorously opposing online sales for the past decade. The times they are a’changing, indeed.
Doug North is another auto dealer who agrees with Ricart. “We’re seeing a fundamental change in the way cars will be sold. This pandemic is going to create some permanent changes.” Once again, one man’s opinion but consider this. North is chairman of the North American International Auto Show held each year in Detroit. He and Ricart are “influencers,” in the parlance of the online world.
Moving sales out of the showroom and online could become the new normal. Dealer group owner Ryan LaFontaine tells The Free Press his customers can reserve specific vehicles online for test drives. “There’s a new norm. All dealers are being forced to adapt. We’re refining the process now to sign and finalize the deal off-site. People are changing their buying habits. Online platforms are as important as brick and mortar.”