Ford to launch online car sales this summer

Lockdown has accelerated Ford’s plans to offer a complete online service

Britain’s biggest car brand, Ford, will offer a fully online sales channel later this summer, Auto Express can reveal.

Speaking exclusively to Auto Express, Ford of Britain boss Andy Barratt confirmed that Ford’s online offering would be ready “in quarter three.”

He also confirmed that Ford had accelerated its plans to offer online sales in the wake of the total retail shutdown, which ran from the end of March until June 1. “Without a doubt - adversity has created opportunity,” Barratt told us. “It’s allowed us to re-engineer our processes and get the dealers along. Some dealers were always digitally enabled, some were slightly slower in their ramp up, but everyone has accelerated that through.

“We’re also working with some external partners for digital showroom activity, even getting every dealer on to live chat - some just weren’t there.”

The new online channel is expected to enable buyers to specify their car, get a valuation on their part-exchange and agree finance terms without having to visit a dealer. However, the leads are likely to all be fed through to Ford dealers, who will facilitate the transaction and potentially deliver the vehicle directly to the customer, with Ford dealers already putting contactless handover procedures in place.

According to Barratt, Ford has learnt plenty from the online ordering process for the upcoming all-electric Mustang Mach-E, which will feed through to the new online offering. “We are accelerating our planning of what we were about to launch. We were working on something new anyway, which was coincidental with Mach-E, and you can buy a Mach-E online today,” he said.

Barratt did, however, sound a note of caution that the digital revolution could lead to job losses in dealerships. “I think some dealers will say: ‘do I need all these sales staff anymore on the basis that I’m so digitally enabled in a way that I never was before?’” 

Check out our handy tips for buying a car online here...

Recommended

Iconic Ford Escort Mk2 is reborn by specialist MST
Ford Escort Mk2 rally
News

Iconic Ford Escort Mk2 is reborn by specialist MST

£65,000 Ford Escort rally car recreation gives fast Ford fans a Singer of their own to aspire to
8 Jan 2021
Team Fordzilla P1 hypercar concept revealed as full-size model
Ford

Team Fordzilla P1 hypercar concept revealed as full-size model

Ford’s gamer-created virtual race car makes the move from digital to reality as static concept car
18 Dec 2020
Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition revealed
Ford

Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition revealed

Hottest iteration of Ford Mustang Mach-E will offer 480bhp and Tesla Model Y-matching performance when sales begin next year
1 Dec 2020
Ford van models: range, specs, prices and how to choose one
Ford

Ford van models: range, specs, prices and how to choose one

We dive into the Ford commercial vehicle range from Transit to Ranger to explain how to find the best vehicle for your needs
5 Oct 2020

Most Popular

BMW, Mercedes and Tesla owners could be at risk of higher insurance premiums
bmw x5 m50d tracking front
News

BMW, Mercedes and Tesla owners could be at risk of higher insurance premiums

Raw, uncapped insurance group rating data could be used by insurers to increase premiums on various high-end cars
19 Jan 2021
New 2021 Mercedes EQA electric crossover arrives with 302-mile range
Mercedes EQA - front
Mercedes EQA

New 2021 Mercedes EQA electric crossover arrives with 302-mile range

The new Mercedes EQA is a premium rival for the Volkswagen ID.3 and Kia e-Niro, with a maximum claimed range of 302 miles
20 Jan 2021
Best electric cars to buy 2021
Electric cars

Best electric cars to buy 2021

There are more electric cars than ever to choose from, so we've picked some of the best you can buy in the UK now
4 Jan 2021