An online test drive operator taking dealer demo vehicles to customers' doors has welcomed former Sytner Group Operations Director Geoffrey Page-Morris onto its advisory board.
Page-Morris joins a team a team at TestDrives2U.co.uk which now includes founder and CEO Matt Stone, TV F1 presenter Natalie Pinkham and ex-Endemol CEO Lucas Church.
Stone, who was formerly with car brands Toyota and Bentley, where he worked closely with the UK’s leading dealership group is bringing demonstrator cars to customers’ homes and offices with his new venture.
The service, which is free to customers, aims to help car dealers exploit a trend revealed by Capgemini data which suggested up to 84% of car buyers would consider test driving away from the showroom.
TestDrive2U’s own research found that up to 86% specified that they would prefer to test drive from home or work.
Stone said: “We’re providing dealers with a flow of local, qualified customers who prefer not to visit a showroom in the traditional way.
“This provides dealers with greater access to the digital marketplace
“TestDrives2U customers are in-market, local to our dealer partners and willing to pay a fair price.
“As a business we’re focused on service, not just price, so we can help maintain dealer margins.”
TestDrives2U partners with dealers who deliver the test drive car to the customer’s home or workplace.
Each participating dealership pays a monthly subscription fee and a success fee where a sale is made. The business is now actively signing up partners.
Of Page-Morris’ addition to the business’ advisory board, Stone said “He is a retail visionary and we’re very fortunate to have him on the team.”
Page-Morris said: “I’m a firm believer in the TestDrives2U proposition and immediately saw the potential in this fresh approach.
“Our research shows that up to 90% of customers view the test drive as the most important factor when buying a new car, but many are put off by the traditional sales approach.
“Customers today are looking for more flexibility and convenience, and the retail motor industry needs to embrace new channels in order to respond to this shift in behaviour.”
In November last year Mazda set up the MyWay direct test drive and sales scheme within London in a bid to exploit areas outside the influence of its traditional dealer network by taking the product direct to customers’ homes.
BTC’s chief executive of automotive training and software, Guy Allman, said: “I’ve never met a salesman who didn’t say that bums on seats sell cars, but it seems that’s not always put into practice. There’s a lethargy that’s hard to explain.”