In many ways, the pandemic has permanently changed many facets of how we shop—and that includes cars.
In pre-COVID times,
buying a cartypically involved going to a dealership, seeing what they have in stock, and giving it a test drive.
But during the pandemic, many shoppers bought cars completely
online. Through this process, shoppers could easily adjust all the features and add-ons they wanted from the comfort of their own home.
As life returns to normal, it seems online car buying will stay.
Fordhas taken note and is starting to provide better online shopping options to customers.
Here is what you need to know about Ford's new online shopping platform.
How Ford is changing the car buying process
Ford noticed that online customers love the customization aspect while shopping, so the Detroit automaker plans to bring that service to their new online shopping platform.
Customers can now easily choose things like color, trim level, accessories, and just about every other option, according to
Car and Driver.
Instead of producing numerous cars that may sit on a lot until a year-end clearance sale, Ford will adjust their production model to "Build-to-Order." While dealerships aren’t going anywhere, and it will probably take some time for Ford to fully adapt to this new sales and supply model, early implementations are already in place.
The pandemic forced Ford's hand
While online shopping does accommodate new preferences from consumers, it serves another function for Ford.
All automakers are dealing with a frustrating
chip shortagethat is slowing down the production of cars. As such, each carmaker has had to develop new strategies to deal with the chip shortage. Ford is no exception.
With online shopping, each new car will be made to order. Granted, this may add a waiting period to receive their new car—but it also should help Ford manage the scarce supply of microchips.
Ford Express Buy
Ford Express Buy is the online buying platform for new cars. It's already live and active, but still has more features to come. For starters, it's not a universal nationwide buying platform. Rather, it is dealer-specific. Authorized Ford dealers can choose if they want to use Ford Express Buy or not.
Additionally, the only vehicle currently available on Ford Express Buy is the Mustang Mach-E. All other models will have to wait to be added to the platform. Credit checks can also be done on the platform via "Ford Credit."
While Ford Express Buy is in its infancy, we anticipate it will grow soon. Ford's President of the Americas and International Markets Group, Kumar Galhotra, has expressed his enthusiasm for the new online platform.
"It's a really exciting way for us to sell vehicles in partnership with our dealers. You can start building your vehicle, pricing it, put it in the cart, and you can go all the way to make a transaction," Galhotra said, according to Car and Driver.
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