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Hyundai sets out its vision of customer-centric car buying

Hyundai says it has put the customer firmly in the driving seat with its launch of what it is billing as the first end-to-end online car buying solution from a car manufacturer in the UK.

The new Click to Buy service, with a customer experience and design built by Collective London working with Hyundai’s in-house team – enables customers to get a trade-in valuation for their old car, choose how to finance the car purchase, and move on to configure it and arrange to pick up their new car from their dealer – all online, from a desktop or a mobile device.

Rebecca Hurrell, retail development manager at Hyundai, said: “After the successful experience with our digital retail stores, ‘Click to Buy’ moves the needle even further towards the customer by taking the hassle out of buying a car. The site Collective has helped us to develop puts the customer firmly in the driving seat.”

So what does customer-centric car buying look like?

Hyundai says this is the first time customers across the UK have had the opportunity to buy a car from a manufacturer in an experience that’s completely online. It says the experience takes the haggling out of the dealership experience, to the customer’s benefit.

Adam Cleaver, co-founder, Collective London said: “Hyundai is genuinely willing to push boundaries to deliver better customer experiences and we’re delighted to have been involved in such an ambitious and ground-breaking project. The Click to Buy website utilises a deep understanding of how people want to buy cars, to create a seamless, simple and transparent digital experience, that avoids any of the haggling over prices that put so many people – especially women – off. It’s a genuine market first.”

But, from our look around the website, promotions or special prices aren’t offered – and neither is a test drive.

Our view:
In theory, the Hyundai online shopping experience makes the transaction a simple one. When anything can be sold online, why don’t more car manufacturers do just that, selling direct to the end consumer?

But are shoppers ready to buy their new car entirely online? New cars are expensive and most buyers will want to touch, feel and drive their new vehicle before they buy it (unless they’ve previously owned that model and know what to expect). That brings the trip to the dealer into the equation – and while online shoppers can arrange to pick up their new car, or have it delivered, online, there doesn’t appear to be an option to arrange a test drive on the Click to Buy website.

Perhaps this will be a more useful service for those buyers who have been to a dealer, driven the car and now want to complete their purchase online, as well as for those that are happy to pay full price – sidestepping any haggling that might reduce the price. We’ll be interested to see what kind of uptake this service gets, and how much buy in there’ll be from the dealers who ultimately supply the car.