News - Ford
Ford's net effect
Ford gets it together on the internet with an Australia-wide pre-owned showroom
28 May 2001
By BRUCE NEWTON
FORD plans to roll out a national internet used car sales program before the end of 2001.
A pilot "pre-owned showroom" has been up and running with Brisbane Ford dealers since March and, after a positive response, approval has been given to go Australia-wide.
While reporting a 100 per cent sales success rate of customers who put a deposit down, Ford Australia e-business manager David Katic refused to talk sales numbers.
"We have learned a tremendous amount about online retailing . . . and I can't go into specifics because some of them would be a competitive advantage for our competitors," he said.
The Ford system works this way: The customer goes online, chooses the vehicle, places a $250 deposit, the vehicle is shipped to the dealer, the customer takes a test drive and the dealer completes the transaction.
An online new car program is not being considered by Ford in the near future.
"We're still some years away from that and we'll never sell a huge percentage over the net because buying a car is a complex process," said Mr Katic.
The "pre-owned showroom" is part of online development being conducted by Ford Australia on behalf of the Asia-Pacific region.
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