Buyers of prestige cars are happy to use the web for research but prefer to talk to specialist staff about a potential purchase, said Sytner Group chief executive Laurence Vaughan.
He was announcing SC3 (Sytner customer contact centre) which combines an interactive consumer website, e-mail/phone contact centre and group intranet.
Sytner is the latest leading dealer group to throw down a challenge to internet specialists.
Mr Vaughan said: “This enterprise will help us to attract new customers seeking the widest choice and best value. It further strengthens our position as a retailer of prestige cars.”
David Holmes, Sytner Group communications director, said: “SC3 is a marker for how we intend to develop customer relationships. It is in real contrast with on-line retailers who struggle without established supply lines and the close relationships with manufacturers which we enjoy.
"They also lack the infrastructure to handle part exchanges and provide the relevant brand experience.”
The website enables visitors to search Sytner Group's stock of new and used cars. Test drives and servicing can be booked online, and visitors can use a tax calculator to determine personal tax liability and a finance calculator for HP and PCP quotes.
The contact centre in Coventry holds a central customer database of 150,000 records. The Sytner intranet forms the basis of the group's stock management systems and will allow the group's outlets to share and transfer new car stock within marques. They can already do that with used cars.