In an interview to Auto Express, Citroen’s CEO, Linda Jackson revealed that the brand has plans to launch online sale of cars at fixed prices in 2017 in the UK market. This will make the purchase process smoother and hassle free for customers as the entire process will be more transparent and there will be no need to haggle for discounts.
The move is planned as a part of the company’s ‘Advanced Comfort’ ethos – which is meant to enhance customer’s comfort when it comes to all aspects of the customer experience ranging from the design of the actual vehicle to working out the financial details, arranging insurance and sourcing the vehicle from either a dealer or from central stock. The introduction of online purchase will make the purchase decision less pressurized and customers can choose the variant they like, put down a down payment and arrange for delivery – all from the comfort of their home.
Jackson said that Citroen will be rolling out e-commerce in selected markets and as part of the process customers can check out cars, get finance and put down a deposit before they finally go to the dealer for a test drive. The dealer is still very much a part of the process but there is less scope for hard sell.
The fixed prices will ensure greater transparency as most customers really do not enjoy the haggling process. Having fixed online prices also makes it easier to compare different makes and models. According to Jackson, the online prices would be the same as the prices buyers would get when they visit the dealer, so they will not lose out in any manner by making an online purchase. Citroen calls the concept of visibility for new cars “fair pricing” as customers get to have a clear idea about the prices and there will be no need to negotiate.
If Citroen takes to online sale of its cars in the UK in 2017, it will be the first big manufacturer to do so.
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