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Opinions differ over what will or won’t work.

Digital Auto Retailing Undergoing Another Transformation

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Article Highlights

  1. “There is no one who could debate that the phase we’re in now with the Internet is transactional, as opposed to just shopping and educating before,” says Dale Pollak, founder of vAuto, a provider of inventory-management systems.
  2. Mark O’Neil, an industry veteran and chief operating officer of Cox Automotive, a 20-brand dealership service provider, says testing indicated few people want to click to immediately buy a high-ticket product such as a vehicle.
  3. Says O’Neil: “Digital retailing is coming fast and furious. We’ve heard a lot of, ‘They’re not going to buy cars virtually.’ I can tell you they will, with the right technology.”

For years, consumers have used the Internet to shop and research before going to the dealership.

Now, industry people see the day coming soon when technology allows customers to readily do the full transaction – or something close to it – entirely online.

That’s where auto retailing is headed. Just about all the industry players agree on that. But opinions vary as to the details, such as just how many consumers will want to buy a car on the Internet.

Some indeed might want to do it from A to Z. Others might stop at Q, R or S before going offline and into the dealership for in-person assistance and to take the deal over the finish line.

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