A Tampa resident bought his first electric vehicle online in 2019. With a few clicks, the order was placed, and the car was delivered a couple of days later. Since 2019, the number of Electric Vehicle enthusiasts has increased exponentially, especially in America, where more than 800,000 fully EVs were sold last year. Everyone has increased their online activities significantly in recent years, including significant transactions like cars. And among the leading car manufacturers, Tesla is known to be the pioneer in shifting franchised car dealerships online.
What started as an economic move, gathering mistrust from the industry went on to become highly popular. Those who tried out the online mode called the Tesla process an innovation, making the whole affair way easier. The online transactions of cars are seen with dual advantages of cost-effectiveness along with deeper customer relations. Seeing the profit margins of Tesla and other online car dealers, the others also started putting in funds towards selling cars online, especially EVs. This also benefits the consumers who have become free from the usual hassles of offline car purchases.
With almost everything becoming possible online, Tesla has also gained competition in the market. General Motors has launched a website that helps customers find and customize products online for new cars along with EVs. By late 2020, they saw a 50% increase in traffic that pushed them to enable any transactions, big or small, completely online. Car manufacturing giants like Honda have announced that their new line of EVs will be sold completely online as a convenience tool for buyers. Ford also went 100% online to sell at a non-negotiated price, with cars being sent directly to the buyers instead of being stocked up in lots as was previously dominant.
While most car manufacturers are adjusting to these changes, they also encounter doubts about properly functioning in the online future. This has also been seen in the resistance that they have shown towards the process of ‘Amazonification.’ While the initial defense stated the customers’ apprehension of making expensive transactions online, the statistics show high satisfaction and massive progress in sales in this early digital stage. It’s easier for people to personalize and preorder EVs online. Experts have also noted that now most vehicle buyers tend to depend on and communicate with at least one digital tool during transactions. It seems like the future of car dealerships is predicted to be a combination of online and offline, where the customers have an individual choice.