A car dealership has introduced a new ’’virtual’’ sales process to allow customers buy a car without ever visiting their showrooms.
Kearys Motor Group said their new ‘Deal and Deliver’ service, which includes video tours of for-sale cars, online applications for finance, home delivery and a seven-day cooling-off period, is Ireland’s first contactless car-buying experience.
Brendan Keary, director of Kearys Motor Group and managing director used-car supermarket CarStore, said they set out on this online ’’journey’’ several months ago.
"We were working on this before Covid-19 and over the last six months, we have seen one in four of customers buying a car from us without ever physically visiting a showroom. But everything has changed now and this will become the new normal. The service allowed us to sell four cars on bank holiday Monday and we are traditionally closed on the May bank holiday."
“Kearys are the first motor group in Ireland with this technology and with more contactless transactions required across all industries, we are delighted to introduce this service."
Car sales showrooms closed mid-March, triggering a collapse in car sales in April.
The Society of the Irish Motor Industry released statistics last week which showed new car registrations for April declined 96.1% (344) when compared to April 2019 (8,904).
Mr Keary said his business is now implementing a raft of new measures to ensure they can reopen safely as restrictions ease.
Their new virtual sales system allows people to browse and buy any car online through Kearys.ie or carstore.ie. You can book a virtual sales appointment with a member of the group’’s sales team via Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams or through Keary’’s new live video system. You can apply and be approved for finance online and pay a deposit using Google or Apple Pay.
Mr Keary said they can arrange delivery of the car to your door within 72-hours and each vehicle is delivered fully sanitised.
Customers get a ’’handover video’’ and crucially, Mr Keary said if you’’re not ’’in love’’ with car after seven days, they will collect it and refund the money.
The group also plans to implement physical distancing in its showrooms; it is investing in PPE for its staff; and it will introduce temperature checks for visitors to its showrooms when they are cleared to reopen.
Kearys Motor Group represents the BMW Mini, BMW Motorrad, Hyundai, Nissan and Renault franchises at 10 outlets in Cork, Mallow and Midleton, as well as CarStore in Cork and Dublin.
The group, which employs up to 350-staff, also services the Garda and An Post fleet in Cork.