More than 200 car dealers signed up to What Car?’s New Car Buying online platform and lead management service last Friday.
In addition to retailers, What Car? said it was working with several manufacturers looking to support their retailers and widen exposure to their online sales channels.
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday (March 23) that all non-essential businesses must close for three weeks, car retailers have been forced to close their showrooms to the public and send staff home.
A number of retailers, including Sytner, are now investigating the use of online platforms to continue selling cars.
Rachael Prasher, managing director of What Car?’s parent company Haymarket Automotive, said: “We are all in this together - visitors to our website are in-market car buyers, and we need to be able to give them a great experience. At the same time, retailers need access to in-market car buyers at this tumultuous time.
“We believe this free period will help everyone in the industry cope throughout this difficult time. This is set to be tough for everyone. As a partner to the industry for more than 40 years, it is important we support our car buyers and their businesses where we can."
Rockar’s marketing lead, David Smedley, a What Car? New Car Buying customer since March, said: “Even now at a time of uncertainty, not just in the automotive industry, customers are contacting us to place their orders. Bridging the gap between physical and online lead generation has never been more important.
“We've seen hundreds of enquiries come in - with those customers receiving an automatic quote containing a fair price and presented with our fantastic Rockar proposition of buying online. In the short few weeks since launch, we have seen orders already start to be placed.”