Mazda begins selling cars right on website

Back in the Jacques Nasser days, Ford Motor Company decided to cut the dealer middleman and sell its own vehicles online. Considering that's Ford's dealer network was probably too big even when SUVs were selling like hotcakes, it's easy to understand why the Blue Oval's dealers would be angry. Almost a decade later, Ford's Mazda arm is getting more involved with the sales process, but instead of stealing bread from its dealer arm like Ford did, the Zoom Zoom folks are simply making the process easier for its customers.

At the click of a mouse on the Mazda website, online car browsers can contact a Mazda employee via web chat, and the Mazda "shopping assistant" will help buyers configure a vehicle, find a dealership, arrange for the dealer and customer to work out pricing, and make sure the final vehicle is sent to the dealership. The anatomy of the OEM sales site has been relatively unchanged for years now, and if Mazda's new idea works well, we think it could help Mazda nab a few more sales on convenience alone. The Mazda sales initiative has just started, but it took almost eight minutes for us to get someone online. We think Mazda will need to quickly work out the kinks and get wait time under a minute or two for this new endeavor to be a success. If you've given the Mazda sales assistant a whirl, let us know in the comments how it turned out.

[Source: Auto News - sub. req'd]

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