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Configurator launched to help keep customers

A multi-marque car configurator designed to help dealers keep long-standing customers who want to change to another brand has been launched this month.

The Car Configurator Club is a collaboration between London-based motor retailer Clive Sutton and vehicle data expert CAP. By subscribing to the online service (www.clivesutton.net/cap.php), franchised and independent dealerships can configure the specification and price of a new vehicle from any carmaker on-screen.

Sutton believes the system will allow franchised dealerships to hold on to customers attracted by other marques. It could also prove useful for independents and car supermarkets that want to retail new cars.

He says: “Franchised and independents spend a lot of money attracting a customer across the threshold of the showroom and creating a relationship between their sales staff and the customer.

But from the franchised dealer’s perspective, if their long-standing customer eventually decides they want a different product then they grudgingly say goodbye.

“But this means that dealer has the opportunity to say ‘Hang on a minute, I can sell you that product too’. The customer can sit with them, specify the car with their required options and place the order, then with the push of a button that order can be sent to another part of the dealer group or a partner dealer to source the car.”

Sutton initially developed the configurator at a cost of “almost six figures” for his Clive Sutton Premier Marques business in north London. The independent dealership sources prestige and specialist new cars for wealthy clients via Sutton’s network of international contacts, and needed a way of detailing different marques’ option lists and pricing details.

The Car Configurator Club is available to dealers on an annual licence at an introductory offer of £150+VAT per month. One month’s free trial of up to ten configurations is being offered to mark the launch.

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