Seat has begun selling new Mii city cars through the Amazon marketplace.
Consumers using Amazon in France can purchase one of 15 Mii By Mango limited edition cars on the website, with the order fulfilled by a local Seat dealer and delivered to their home within 72 hours.
The trial collaboration with Amazon is unprecedented in France, combining the two brands’ expertise via a dedicated webpage.
Once an Amazon shopper has paid a 500 euro deposit through the Amazon portal, they are contacted by a Seat advisor who verifies they have a driving licence and presents a choice of payment methods to fund the balance. After that, delivery will be scheduled to the buyer’s home within 72 hours, supervised by the closest Seat dealership.
Seat said it’s “An easy, quick scheme that focuses on consumer expectations.” The initiative, entitled, #DeliveryToEnjoy, is “a pooling of forces for a modern approach for the consumer”.
“The #DeliveryToEnjoy campaign has been created to enhance the buying experience for vehicles in the SEAT range, offering a 100% online experience, with speed and respect of delivery and a streamlined payment solution,” said the carmaker.
The president of Seat conceded that carmakers now need to consider whether the investment they expect franchised dealers to put into expanding showrooms could be better spent on digital tools.
De Meo told AM that he sees an acceleration of change in the motor retail distribution model within the next 15 years because of consumer’s digital habits and fewer people browsing cars in showrooms.
“It makes you think, ‘do I need exactly the same thing as I had 20 years ago when people are simply not going to the showroom any more.’
"So maybe rather than asking someone to treble the size of their showroom because we have more cars, we have to think that maybe it’s more important to invest in a decent configurator that really works and connects with the dealer.
“I feel the responsibility of helping our retailers, our partners, to jump into the digital age,” he said. “The distribution is a big system with a lot of people and a lot of investment by people over decades, so our job is to help them make the jump - the ones that want to, that are there, and that have the resources to do it.”
His concern is that the automotive consumer experience is becoming extremely complicated, one of the most complicated, while a lot of the emerging power brands in the last 15 years have made the customer experience at the core of their competitive advantage.
Think of Apple, Netflix, Easyjet or Amazon and you realise that most of the big power brands facilitate access and experience, he said.
“We as an industry are staying complicated. So I think there’s a strategic opportunity to work on it. It doesn’t just mean product, but the whole package from product through distribution.”
He said automotive is going through one of the biggest disruptions of its history, because of new ownership models, electrification, and the connected car.
“We’re putting our product in the middle of a digital ecosystem, and it’s a big opportunity.
“The good thing about it is your 100 years of history doesn’t count. We’re all starting from scratch. Of course some brands have more money, but we have opportunity to start on those new fields in more or less the same position as the others.
“I hope, dream, about the possibility that I can work with the organisation to be part of the front tranche on some of these fields.”