Mazda is poised to launch an online new car sales platform as it builds on its ‘Mazda MyWay’ home test drive concept with a new ‘Mazda Your Way’ pledge to car buyers.
A total of 98 franchised car retailers – 85% of the Japanese brand’s network – have signed up to the new brand offering, which now allows potential Mazda customers to engage with their local dealership via live chat or a video product presentation and test drive a car delivered to their home.
Customers are able to remotely reserve their chosen Mazda with a contactless reservation fee and opt to have the vehicle personally delivered to their home, meaning that “customers can go through the entire car buying process from the comfort of their home if they wish”, the brand said.
While Mazda’s model has so far forgone the direct sales offering of a completely online sales process offered by other OEMs, instead focussing on channelling increased enquiries to its franchised retail network, an online retail website is also on the way “over the coming months”.
Commenting on the new Mazda Your Way experience, Mazda Motors UK managing director, Jeremy Thomson, said: “Over the last few months, we have seen unprecedented change to our businesses, and recognise that lockdown has created anxiety for some customers who now wish to engage outside of a physical dealership.
“While we appreciate the importance of the traditional physical showroom and service centres, and will continue to invest in our network, we have also designed a programme to build comfort and reassurance for our customers who now wish to engage away from dealer premises.”
Thomson added: “The new Mazda Your Way offers customers the flexibility of still being able to visit a dealer – where they’ll receive a great customer experience – or the option to connect with the dealer in a way that suits them best throughout the ownership of their Mazda.
“With 80% of our UK dealer network already committed to deliver the new Mazda Your Way service, we are able to offer even more customers with a wider, more flexible scope of convenient services that are there to reassure customers today and over the long term.
“We will be adding services to enhance Mazda Your Way over time with the inclusion of a full end-to-end on-line sales platform which we’ll be launching over the coming months.”
In a statement issued today Mazda highlighted the continued ability to offer test drives and sales from its franchised car retail sites.
It said that all dealerships will meet all government advice and guidelines on social distancing, with some additional measures in place that go above and beyond for customer and staff safety, stating: “On arrival to dealerships there will be hand sanitisers, social distancing markers and, where appropriate, a touch free environment to ensure a safe visit.
“All surfaces, keys and cars will be cleaned regularly to ensure customers are in a safe and sanitised environment during unaccompanied test drives and home deliveries.”
Launched inside the M25 back in 2015, the Mazda MyWay home test drive concept was wholly supported by Mazda initially, employing 10 “brand champions” trained to place an onus is on customer service and product knowledge, rather than sales.
The brand begun rolling out the home test drive concept officially back in 2018, with franchisees taking repsonsibility fot the offering in their own market area.
Speaking to AM about the concept back in 2018, Thomson said: “I was very conscious that we had to have proof of concept before we took this to the network and we now have that. We’re handing over all that we’ve learned and there will be no rise in retail targets for MyWay dealers.
“If it all goes well we’ll roll it out to the rest of the network.”