• Nov 1st 2007 at 7:06AM
  • 6
Every automaker has its web presence set up where you can sort of shop for a car. It gets a little difficult when you actually go to get a price quote – you'll get directed to a selection of local dealers, some more willing to deal than others – it's enough to make you wish for a "Buy It Now" button. AutoNation's testing pretty much that very idea at an Atlanta location. The experience doesn't differ much from what's already available at automotive sales websites. You can browse inventory, schedule test drives, get price quotes, even apply for credit. Where the AutoNation website differs is that you can actually trade in a vehicle, secure financing, and arrange delivery or pick up of your new car. AutoNation's not sure whether or not they'll roll out the service to their largest-in-the-nation dealer network. In the past, it's not proven to move as much iron as you'd think. There's a lot to consider when buying a car, and it might just be too bewildering for people to feel comfortable with a "purchase car" button to click. Problem credit is another issue that can plug up the works. In the end, while AutoNation may offer complete online sales, it may not find that many takers.
[Source: The Auto Channel, Photo: Carsnaps]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think it's a great idea. I've bought two new cars in the past year, and both times I wished I could have finished with the "build and price" and click a buy it now button.

      Another, similar implementation of this idea that may be more practical, would be for you to select your vehicle online, and see the lowest non-negotiable price. Then when you 'schedule a test drive' you actually make an appointment for a salesman to visit you at your home or office. He brings your car and all the paperwork you need to complete the sale and if you are happy with the car, then you sign on the dotted line. The salesman would either bring your car on a trailer, or call back to the office to have someone come pick him up.

      This makes the car buying a much more enjoyable experience as it eliminates the things people hate about buying cars. For the most part people don't like dealerships, and they don't like negotiating a price on car. There are more and more 'flat rate, non-negotible' dealers around the country and every one I've seen does very well.

      This concept won't work for all people as some people have no idea what they want and need to go test drive 10+ vehicles before they decide. But even with them after they test drive 10 and decide they what the one at the 3rd dealership, they could still use this model.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Dealerships/salespeople should be replaced with self-service facilities that allow you to test-drive and/or rent demonstrator* vehicles. Then, when you are ready to buy, you can either do it on-site using a self-service kiosk or online via website.

      It'll never happen but I can always hope right?

      *using demo vehicles has the added benefit of preventing customers from thrashing new cars that haven't been broken-in.
      • 7 Years Ago
      of course this will work.
      people buy anything online, why not cars?
      trust me I have 6 people around me I know would do this rather then go to a dealer.
      ie. you want a F150 P/U.. why go driving dealer to dealer for a price, you know what you want, shop online.
      • 7 Years Ago
      You've been able to configure a new car, submit a part exchange, arrange finance and hit "Buy It Now" on GM's UK web site (aka Vauxhall) for years.

      Why do you need a third party to get involved -- and in the manufacturer's home country too?

      • 7 Years Ago
      For new cars its great idea. I had a co-worker use this to buy a Corolla Sport. She loved it.

      As cars become more like appliances the only point of going to a dealership is to check it out in person.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Yeah, this doesn't sound like the hottest idea. Buying a car is the kind of purchase (like a home) you kinda wanna be in person for. This is lazy.
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