GERMANY: Opel to start internet sales

By just-auto.com editorial team | 9 March 2001

The General Motors subsidiary in Germany, Opel, will begin selling cars at a discount over the Internet in an effort to boost sales and improve its image, Associated Press reported.

A pilot program will run until July 31 and offer a selected range of cars at prices up to 11 percent cheaper than on the showroom floor, AP said.

The Opel move is similar to that tried successfully by Vauxhall in the UK. The company began internet sales with just one version of each of its model line-up but has since decided to offer a much wider range.

AP said that similar test programs elsewhere have been hindered by delivery delays and the simple fact that people like to test drive a vehicle before they buy.

Studies have shown most customers prefer to use the Internet to inform themselves about a vehicle before they buy, rather than to place orders online.

Opel expects to sell only between 250 and 300 cars during the pilot stage, AP said. It will sell six different models over the Internet priced between $US8,100 and $US22,000.

Customers ordering cars on the Internet will pay a $US48 reservation fee that is reimbursed when the sale goes through. After the online order is placed, a salesperson contacts the customer to arrange a test drive and meeting with a dealer.

To view related research reports, please follow the links below:-

Review of the German Automotive Industry

Global Car Forecasts to 2005