As Covid-19 forced everyone to stay at home and away from each other, car buyers are pushed to find ways to meet with their new vehicles. As the people now rely on having food and basic goods be delivered door to door, more and more car dealers in the US are now starting to do the same: deliver their customers' cars right to their doorstep. Roadshow by Cnet, a car news site, spoke with a number of automakers who are now offering car deliveries to their patrons.
Even before the Covid-19 outbreak, German luxury marque Audi had already been offering home vehicle service delivery
. “Vehicle deliveries will continue as needed for customers,” Audi tells Roadshow. “The company recognizes transportation remains an essential service for its customers.”
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles just started their newest “Drive Forward”
initiative, a service that was created due to the current pandemic.
A representative from FCA tells Roadshow about the whole process of the car buying and delivery. The process starts with a customer calling to “see” their vehicle of choice
. A sales representative then connects with the customer to provide a live walk-around
of the vehicle via livestream. At this point, the customer can also ask questions about the vehicle of choice. The respective dealer then accomplishes the paperwork over the internet. After all the necessary arrangements have been settles, the car will then be delivered to the customer.
FCA officials have also said that some dealers are now also offering pickup and drop off services
for vehicles that need to be serviced.
Ford is one of the most proactive dealers taking part in the home delivery system. “Not only does Ford offer new vehicle home delivery, it’s rewarding dealers who take part in this activity
,” writes Roadshow. A Ford representative tells Roadshow: “A majority of dealers in the US are now equipped to handle remote sales.” Dealers will transact with the customers online, and once the deal has been made, the company will then issue bonus payments
to the dealership during March and April.
Ford’s luxury division, Lincoln, has also started the “Lincoln Showcase”
at the start of April. Customers who want to avail a vehicle from the brand can request an appointment and a representative from Lincoln to provide a fully digital walkthrough of the vehicle. As of now, the walkthroughs are only available for two models: the Aviator
and the Corsair
Around six years prior, General Motors launched the “Shop, Click, Drive”
program. Although it never really took off, GM’s innovative program roved to be ahead of its time as the company is now “reaping the benefits from its experiences today.”
The Shop, Click, Drive program allows GM’s customers to select a vehicle, fully customize it to their liking, and seal the dal through their local dealer’s website. Once everything has been finalized, the dealer then delivers the car to the customer’s front door.
Honda, along with its luxury group Acura, have already been running online shopping programs in some of their markets. However, as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to spread, the company “finds itself focusing on the new efforts,” Roadshow writes.
The brand has two online shopping programs: Shop Simple with Honda, and Acura Precision Purchase.
The two programs are available in their respective dealer’s websites, providing a one stop shop for customers to acquire their Honda/Acura vehicle. Customers will choose their desired car and locate it in their local dealer’s inventory. If they choose to proceed with the transaction, they will be presented with a total preliminary transaction cost and apply for financing. Honda/Acura can then provide a home delivery service.
Porsche has been offering digital sales since October of last year. Now, a total of 26 dealers now carry their cay buying services online
. Once the customer finalizes the purchase of the desired vehicle, they will be given an option to have the car delivered at home.
Tesla has always relied on the internet for its sales
. As they have no franchised dealer networks, the American company has always offered their lineup online. A Tesla representative tells Roadshow that the company is improving the “Tesla Direct Drop” program
, and will soon be an entirely contact-less delivery experience.
The overall process is a bit unique. Tesla drops the car to the customer’s chosen location, with all the paperwork inside. After the customer finalizes everything, they will then exit the vehicle and inform the company where they want the car to be delivered. A representative then takes the car and the paperwork, and drops the car off at the final location, all without any direct interaction. This is made easier by the fact that Tesla cars don’t use any keys
, so the owners can use the Tesla app on their phone to have full command of the vehicle.
However, some car companies like Mazda, Mercedes Benz, Nissan/Infiniti, Toyota/Lexus, and Subaru tells Roadshow that there are no company-wide procedures for home deliveries yet, but customers can try to contact their local dealers as protocols vary from location to location.