F&I and Showroom

NADA 2014

F&I and Showroom, the industry's leading source for F&I, sales and technology

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while 37% of respondents said tradein calculators were the best conversion tool. Even so, Marsh believes consumers are still fve to 10 years away from embracing a 100% Internet-driven sales transaction, likening the pace to consumer acceptance of the electric vehicles. "None of the manufacturers are doing very well with electric cars, but they're doing it because they see it as an investment in the future," he says. "We believe it represents the future. "As a Ford dealer back in the 1980s, I remember the frst car that came out with dual airbags. We couldn't give that car away," he adds. "It took a year or more for the public to get acclimated to the idea. They thought when they went over a bump, the airbag was going to go off." action online, according to GM's Carney. "It's a big-ticket item, and I just think they feel more comfortable having a personal relationship with their neighborhood dealer when they make a purchase that large, but research cumbersomely does show us — especially among Millennials who are more comfortable purchasing anything online — they prefer to do more business online," Carney notes. "So this is just another option to try and enable dealers to be able to either reach new customers who may not be visiting their dealerships or to satisfy the increasing number of customers who want to do more online." Following Suit Not all manufacturers are as anxious as GM and Tesla to take the sales process completely online, Ford being one of them. "People are doing all their homework on the Internet," Elena Ford, Ford Motor Co.'s new head of global dealer and consumer experience, told The Wall Street Journal in November. "But they can't drive the car. [Customers] want a good attitude; they want good service; they want people to be respectful and polite, but you have to go to the dealer to drive the car. They have to go to the dealer for service." Of the other manufacturers contacted by F&I and Showroom, including Chrysler, Ford, Honda and Toyota (Hyundai declined to comment), none were prepared to confrm their interest in delivering a 100% Internetdriven sales transaction process. "We naturally encourage our dealers to have a greater online presence with their own websites and provide customers with the ability to do much of the shopping and buying experience online," Chrysler spokesperson Ralph Kisiel responded. As of press time, roughly 1,000 car buyers tried out GM's new buying option, with only about 10 of them actually completing the entire transNADA 2014 F&I and Showroom 29

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