Ford is officially selling new cars online after making its new Buy Online live to customers this week.
An official launch of the new platform is scheduled to take place on July 17, but Ford of Great Britain’s chairman and managing director, Andy Barratt, took to LinkedIn this week to share news of the launch.
“A really significant day at Ford of Britain, as we launch our direct to customer online sales channel, allowing customers to purchase direct from Ford, and to select delivery from either a local dealership, or direct to a location of your choice,” said Barratt.
He added: “It’s day 1, so much more of our range to be added...”
Ford’s launch of an online retail platform coincides with its opening of a new High Street retail offering in partnership with Next - at Manchester's Arndale Shopping Centre - which has been facilitated by omni-channel car retail specialist Rockar.
The new web platform allows customers to set a monthly budget for their new car and set a deposit (up to 35% of the vehicle’s value) to buy via the brand’s Ford Options PCP finance offering.
It also offers consumers to value their current car and arrange for a part-exchange.
A spokesman for Ford said that this week’s low-key switch-on of the Buy Online retail platform was a “soft launch”, adding that the brand would be analysing the volume of initial interest and demand between now and next week’s official start to online sales.
Barratt hinted at the imminent arrival of an online sales channel when announcing the opening of the first retail facility to be opened in partnership with Next, back in March.
Ford’s new-look five-car showroom in the newly-refurbished Next store in Manchester’s Arndale shopping centre will offer shoppers the opportunity to test drive vehicles and new cars can be handed over at the site.
And Barratt said: “We have the most extensive dealership network, which has received significant investment including new FordStores, Transit Centres and Mobile Service Vans.
“These premises will remain to serve the many customers wanting to make a special trip to a traditional dealer.
“There is however also a growing appetite to browse for cars in other retail environments and online which we are meeting with these new 2018 ventures.”