Automakers are trying to change the way we buy cars, for the better. The old dealership model is getting a bit stale, as customers — especially younger ones — are looking for easier ways to shop. Which is why many automakers have tried selling directly to customers online, rather than having customers go into dealerships, with varying degrees of success. Audi is going to try such a business model with e-tron models in select European countries.
Starting in 2023, Audi will sell e-tron vehicles directly to customers, using the agency model, in which the dealership only acts as the intermediary agent. So rather than have independently owned dealerships that hire their own personnel, salespeople will act as agents of the brand.
Keeping salespeople, whether for online sales or in person sales, is something Audi feels is important. According to an Audi Spokesperson, salespeople “remain the backbone” of the brand’s business models. However, they know that Audi must evolve, to meet a growing customer demand for more streamlined sales.
“We are constantly improving our sales system and are designing the sales concept of the future together with our dealers in order to further increase customer satisfaction,” said the Spokesperson. “Online sales are gaining more importance and most of the customers are starting their buying process with information gathering online. The perfect interlinkage between all channels in order to offer a seamless customer experience is becoming crucial.”
Audi will test this new business sales model on a wide scale starting in 2023, for its electric e-tron vehicles. While it won’t be used in every market, most European markets will have it, such as the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, Ireland, and Sweden. Hopefully it succeeds in Europe and the rest of the world follows suit, as this sort of business model will drastically improve customer service and make buying EVs in the future far easier.
[Source: Automotive News Europe]