Saturday, October 25, 2008

Buy a car without going to the shop

Monday, July 9, 2007, 12:42

Starting July 9, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) will help Internet-savvy car buyers get one step closer to sliding into the driver’s seat of a new Mazda vehicle – without ever leaving their home or office.

The Mazda Shopping Assistant program is the first in the industry to provide potential buyers with an actual quote — from the customer’s choice of dealer — of the vehicle they’ve chosen, as opposed to other manufacturers’ programs that simply offer the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP).

Through links on the Mazda web site, the new Mazda Shopping Assistant (MSA) program connects consumers with Mazda Personal Shoppers who can answer specific product questions and provide personalized shopping experiences through live Web-chat sessions. Through the help of these in-house Mazda employees, buyers can configure a vehicle, select a dealership, search vehicle inventory, acquire an actual dealer quote, schedule a sales appointment and get information about financing for the Mazda vehicle of their dreams. Once a price is agreed upon between the customer and the dealer, the Personal Shopper arranges an appointment time at the dealership for final paperwork to be signed and the vehicle to be delivered.

“We want to make the vehicle purchase process as easy and comfortable as possible for our customers,” says Mike Ray, director, Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty, MNAO. “On average, a typical car buyer spends four hours at most dealerships buying a new car. In a day and age when every hour counts in our busy schedules, we believe the new MSA program is the perfect tool to help Mazda customers spend less time shopping and more time driving.”

Designed to help customers and dealers connect more quickly, the MSA program accelerates the purchase process by streamlining three of the steps involved when buying a vehicle — model selection, price and financing.

More than 1.5 million unique visitors log onto each month to gather product information, build vehicles or locate dealerships. With this as proof that Mazda buyers increasingly turn to the Internet as a valuable resource, the company believes the MSA program will be a huge hit among its youthful demographic, the second-youngest in the industry.

Tags: Mazda, car buying, online shopping

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