Can I Buy a Car Online? Financial Times The Future of Car Summit 2023

The future of car dealers was a prominent topic discussed at the Financial Times’ Future of Car Summit this year (2023). As the car industry embraces a more digital customer experience approach, the role of dealers is evolving.

For a long time, the prevailing belief in the car industry was that no one would buy a car online, and I have written about this extensively. Car industry insiders had a valid point: buying a car is a significant and critical decision, and many consumers would hesitate to make such a purchase online.

However, just before the pandemic, Tesla began accepting deposits for their cars online. The pandemic then had a profound impact on online shopping, as it became the primary option for consumers in 2020. As people grew accustomed to buying everything online, the question arose: why not cars?

Car companies have started redesigning their websites to offer an online shopping experience. However, they have been cautious about implementing Apple Pay, Google Pay, or PayPal buttons for purchasing cars online. Perhaps the perception is that cars are still too expensive to be bought online.

To illustrate, let’s consider an extreme example from the high-end fashion brand Hermes. Hermes is a French luxury brand known for its exceptionally expensive products.

One of their most lavish offerings is a £101,110 Sofa Sellier 5-seater corner. Surprisingly, this sofa can be purchased online using Apple Pay or a credit card.

While this example may be at the extreme end of the spectrum, there are customers who are willing to make such online purchases. If a sofa can be bought through Apple Pay, why not a car? After all, one can visualise the size, appearance, and features of a car more easily than an unfamiliar sofa.

Considering this perspective, it may be worth exploring the incorporation of Apple Pay, Google Pay, or PayPal in the car industry to gauge consumer reactions.


John Griffiths should be in Financial Times

I have just recently heard shocking news from AutomotivePR’s twitter. Financial Times great automotive journalist John Griffiths will not be in Financial Times anymore. I cannot believe why FT decided this kind of interesting decision. FT is a finance newspaper and reviews on new cars may not be familiar with the content but FT is not that entertaining for everyone. I have been reading more than five or six years and I learned many valuable knowledge through their respectful journalist. However my main concern to read FT is to know about automotive world and read Griffiths reviews. Beside FT, I read BBC TopGear and CAR Magazine but it is nice to hear from a different perspective about cars. By the way Griffiths was very kind to answer emails, I can imagine his workload and finding time to replying email is a big effort.
I hope that FT will not turn into hard core finance newspaper and lots many readers. I subscribed to FT for automotive news not for hedge funds or stock exchange details.
By the way, sorry for the Audi Q5 I was in hurry to find his articles :)