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What Car? launches online New Car Buyer Marketplace

What Car? editor Steve Huntingford

What Car? is looking to attract dealers to its newly-developed New Car Buyer Marketplace with the promise of exposure to 2.5 million unique monthly users.

Dealerships are being urged to publish their best offers on the new platform, aligning them with the magazine’s ‘target price’ and product reviews to guarantee potential customers “absolute transparency”.

Built into the existing WhatCar.com website, the new platform will also allow customers to add options, change trim and alter finance preferences to get a completely accurate ‘live' price.

All sales are ultimately completed via direct contact with the dealer, either by way of a showroom visit or over the phone.

Speaking to AM about the new development for What Car?, the magazine’s editor Steve Huntingford said: “What Car? is all about offering advice and this feels like a natural next step.

“We are all about helping the customer. We’ve had target price for some time and that is applied here. It’s not about squeezing dealer margins, it’s about offering absolute transparency to the customer.”

Huntingford said that Haymarket-owned What Car? aimed to have 300-plus dealerships signed up to its New Car Buyer Marketplace by the end of November.

He admitted that the launch had so far been fairly low key but the desire was to get enough dealerships on-board to offer its online users from across the UK a car buying option.

New Car Buyer Marketplace claims to help lower marketing costs, deliver incremental sales and boost return business by suggesting the dealerships nearest to each individual user.

Huntingford said that “hundreds of dealers” had already signed up to New Car Buyer Marketplace, and more than a thousand new-car deals were already live.

Other dealers signing up to the service now will be able to sample the site for free until the new year, applying deals on up to 100 model variants.

A subscription fee will be applicable in the new year, dealers paying flat rate rather than a charge for each sales lead.

Huntingford said: “For dealers what we offer is very straightforward. We’re not like Carwow in that they will, eventually, only pay for an advertising space on the site.

“What we are offering to the dealer is an opportunity to make clear their best offer and eliminate haggling from the process of selling a car.

“Haggling never came naturally to most British people, so we’re removing that stressful part of the sale. Hopefully it will result in a straightforward sale for those dealers that sign up.”

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