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Video: Self-isolation Car Dealership: How Dealers Sell Cars At Closed Showrooms
2023 Author: Natalie MacDonald | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-26 13:59
For years, progressive car dealers have offered to pick up a car without leaving the couch as a pleasant option. But since March 30, when, by presidential decree, most showrooms in Russia had to be partially or completely closed, distance selling has become the only distribution channel. At the same time, many sellers only book cars at a fixed price, and postpone the paperwork and issue of the car until the restrictions are lifted. Automotive.ru learned from dealers how you can actually buy a car online, how sellers are luring, and how popular these services are under quarantine conditions
Dealer in touch
The online car purchase scheme is extremely simple, and most dealers work according to it, with small variations. Without leaving home, you can choose the model you like on the website, and then contact the dealer (call, leave a request on the website or in the mobile application, write in messengers, etc.) to discuss in more detail the terms of purchase and the configuration of the product. After that, the sellers will arrange an online presentation for the client, show previously captured photos and videos, and in some cases even conduct a virtual test drive. That's just to see the car live and touch it until it will be impossible, even in an exclusive manner.
If the conditions are satisfactory, the buyer can book a car at a fixed price - that is, the purchase price will remain the same, even if car prices rise by the time of the deal. Dealers also offer various discounts and bonuses for remote purchases. The way of booking depends on the dealer - for someone it can be done on the website in a special form, someone book only by phone, while others use all possible communication channels, up to instant messengers and social networks.
Most dealers only accept prepayment (online or bank transfer). The amount of the prepayment depends on the seller, region and car segment. For example, in "AutoSpecCentre" you can deposit any amount, even 10 thousand rubles; in "Autoworld" a standard advance payment is 15 thousand rubles, but it is allowed to pay online and less - from 5 thousand rubles; in Avilon - 25 thousand for the mass segment, 30 thousand for the premium segment, 100 thousand for the luxury segment; at Fresh Auto the minimum amount of prepayment for reservation is 20 thousand rubles; at Favorit Motors - at least 10 thousand rubles. By the way, the dealer himself most often pays for acquiring remote payment by card, so most of them have been in favor of lowering rates for several years.
You can also apply for a loan online, along with the entire package of necessary documents, but to sign the contract you will have to go to the bank's office on duty. Insurance, additional options are available to order. If the client wants to return the car to trade-in, then he will have to wait until the end of the quarantine, since it is impossible to assess the condition of the car online.
And then … Then, in most cases, the buyer can only wait for the authorities to lift restrictions on the work of car dealerships. Although even at the beginning of April, many dealers were ready to issue the car on an individual basis, observing all safety precautions, or deliver the purchase to your home. However, at the time of publication of this article, only some dealers (even in the capital) can fully pay for the purchase, pick up the car and receive all the documents.
Full payment and remote delivery are available from Avtomir, AutoSpecCentre, Fresh Auto, Favorit Motors, Klyuchavto. The client can come to the warehouse or to the pick-up point, inspect the car, ask the employee questions, and then sign the documents and, if necessary, pay the rest of the amount by card or cash. However, the mechanism, again, can vary depending on the seller and the region. For example, in the same "AutoSpecCentre" all documents are sent only by e-mail, and in Fresh Auto the documents are drawn up upon issuance.
If, however, high alert measures and a self-isolation regime have been introduced in the region (for example, in Moscow) or the client is simply afraid to go somewhere himself, then in some cases the car will be brought by a tow truck to the house or to a specified place where the buyer can inspect it, also ask all questions to the DC employee and draw up documents. Delivery can be both paid and free (for example, from Favorit Motors). The cost of delivery is usually tied to the average cost of a tow truck in the city or to the mileage. At the same time, with any method of transferring a car, employees of car dealerships must observe all the necessary safety measures, and cars are usually pre-disinfected (or even quartzised).
You will have to register the car yourself by signing up through the "Gosuslugi" portal. Depending on the region, the traffic police adopted a special procedure for accepting those wishing to register or re-register the vehicle. In addition, the Ministry of Internal Affairs promised not to fine the owners for violating the established deadlines for car registration.
If there are no specific preferences for choosing a car dealership, then you can go to the websites of car manufacturers and distributors. Some of them have their own online services where you can choose whether to buy or book a car. Among them is the Renault brand, which became a pioneer in Russia by opening an online showroom back in 2016. In 2017, Chery launched online car sales; in 2018 - Nissan, and since this year, the brand has also added a search for cars in dealer warehouses. It has recently become possible to book online Cadillac and six Hyundai models; online configurators are also available from Volkswagen, Lad and others.
The scheme of "buying" a car from most of them is approximately the same as from dealers, however, you still have to sign a contract, pay and pick up a car in a car dealership - at the client's choice. If it is, of course, allowed in the region. Only Chery at the end of March opened full-fledged remote sales with the delivery of the car to the buyer - after the remote transaction, the car is disinfected and delivered by tow truck to a place convenient for the client, attaching all documents.
Book for the future
Dealers estimate the demand for buying cars online in different ways. Activity depends not only on the dealer's capabilities, but also on the brands represented, the customer audience, the region, and even the expectations of the sellers themselves. Marketing Director of Avilon AG Andrey Kamensky notes that online sales are in demand among their customers, as they tend to book a car at the old prices. The company registers about 25 online advances per day, but during "normal" times there were more - about 100 per day. “When it was announced that car dealerships would be temporarily closed, there was a decrease to 5-7 advances a day. But when the clients realized that it was also possible to book a car remotely and fix the price, the statistics on contracting improved significantly,”says Kamensky.
The increased demand for online services is being observed and in Nissan: Over the last two weeks of March, the number of online prepayments has grown 2.5 times relative to the average. In Renault According to the results of the first quarter, the growth of online sales was more than 41%, but the company representatives do not disclose absolute figures. To Chery online store From April 1 to April 14, more than 100 potential customers contacted, of whom 45 booked a car, from 11, delivery to the house in April was agreed, and the rest decided to pick up the purchase at the DC after the completion of the self-isolation regime.
Representatives of "Avtomir" said they did not observe a large number of people willing to buy a car remotely, "without a physical examination and choice." “These are mainly customers who have already decided on the choice of model and equipment. The main motivators for distance buying from customers now are the expected increase in car prices and the operational need for a car due to the transport restrictions introduced during the quarantine period, as well as the fear of using public transport during this period,”says Mikhail Marakushev.
The decrease in calls to DCs and online communication with clients in the first half of April confirms and Marketing Director of "AutoSpecCentre" Alexey Ermilov … “Many customers have not yet fully converted to the online format and are waiting for the opportunity to“feel the car”and come for a test drive,” he adds, specifying that real sales during this period amounted to more than 50 cars. A source in another large dealership said that the contracting of cars on average fell 2-3 times. However, according to him, even when the car dealerships are opened, a decline in sales is possible due to the crisis in the country's economy.
“We've noticed that those who really need are willing to buy online as well. This means that the market is still gradually preparing for transformation. This will definitely not happen quickly, although it should be noted that the current situation has significantly accelerated the process of bringing the auto business online. Fresh Auto is one of the few companies that is ready to support this transformation promptly,”says Denis Migal, CEO of Fresh Auto … According to him, in relative terms, the share of online sales has quadrupled compared to the same period last year. The volume of online sales, which involves remote selection and ordering of a car from any region of the network's presence, before the introduction of restrictive measures was about 5%.
At the same time, many experts note that it is still difficult to predict how the situation will develop further - it all depends on the duration and severity of restrictive measures aimed at reducing the spread of coronavirus in Russia. If the self-isolation regime is extended, the demand for telecommuting services will almost certainly continue to grow.
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