'More ways to buy cars should mean more satisfied customers'

Car manufacturers are working hard to make the buying process more convenient - something that's long overdue, says Graham Hope

It's commonly accepted that we are living through one of the most exciting periods the car industry is likely to see. As Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said recently, there will be more change in the next 10 years than we’ve witnessed in the past 50.

While the technology and powertrains develop at a ferocious pace, it’s fair to say there has been little evidence that how we buy cars will evolve quite so dramatically. But it appears that finally the retail experience is beginning to catch up.

In the past week alone, we’ve learned of two new ideas that provide an interesting glimpse of the future. Firstly, Hyundai told us that it would build on the success of its two Rockar operations in shopping malls by building smaller ‘Tesco Express’-style outlets in busy high streets. “We have to go to them [buyers], rather than them coming to us,” explained UK MD Tony Whitehorn.

New DS Urban Store opens in Westfield London

At the same time, Peugeot showed us its new online system, where you can browse, configure and order your new car from your sofa, then have it delivered to your home – a process Hyundai is also exploring with its Click To Buy. I know for a fact other firms are monitoring these programmes very closely.

Of course, traditionally buyers have wanted some physical interaction with a potential purchase – but according to Whitehorn, even this is changing, with the rise of the PCP. His brand’s experience at Rockar has shown that for some: “It is just like buying a phone. So long as you have a price that is less than £250 [a month], people are interested.”

To what extent all these innovations will take off is unclear, but what’s certain is that manufacturers  are working harder than ever to make the car buying process much more convenient. I’m sure many of you will agree with me when I say it’s long overdue. 

How will you buy your next car? Leave us a comment below...

Recommended

'This really is a great time to buy a new car'
Opinion dealership
Opinion

'This really is a great time to buy a new car'

Steve Fowler points out some great new car deals to be had in post-lockdown
14 Apr 2021
'Some traditions need to be abandoned, and working 9-5 is one of them'
Opinion commute
Opinion

'Some traditions need to be abandoned, and working 9-5 is one of them'

Britain needs to re-think its approach to commuting, according to Mike Rutherford
11 Apr 2021
'It's clear that lorry drivers deserve much-improved working conditions'
Truck
Opinion

'It's clear that lorry drivers deserve much-improved working conditions'

Mike Rutherford proposes some alternative options to help streamline British imports and exports
23 Jan 2021
'Gordon Murray is my British motor industry person of 2020'
Opinion

'Gordon Murray is my British motor industry person of 2020'

Mike Rutherford highlights his positive car industry stories of 2020
4 Jan 2021

Most Popular

New 2021 SEAT Ibiza facelift arrives with styling and tech updates
SEAT Ibiza facelift - front
SEAT Ibiza Hatchback

New 2021 SEAT Ibiza facelift arrives with styling and tech updates

The SEAT Ibiza supermini has been tweaked for 2021, with a new interior the star of the show
15 Apr 2021
New 2021 Audi Q4 e-tron on sale now, priced from £40,750
Audi Q4 e-tron - front
Audi Q4 e-tron

New 2021 Audi Q4 e-tron on sale now, priced from £40,750

Two body styles, three powertrains and four trim-levels confirmed for Audi’s compact Q4 EV, including a 295bhp quattro option
15 Apr 2021
New SEAT Arona facelift gets rugged looks and a fresh cabin for 2021
SEAT Arona facelift - front
SEAT Arona

New SEAT Arona facelift gets rugged looks and a fresh cabin for 2021

New infotainment technology takes centre stage with the updated SEAT Arona, backed up by a tough new front end
15 Apr 2021