Ready. Shop. Go.
That’s the name of Ford’s new online car store. The automaker hopes to encourage online shoppers to take a break from Amazon to look at cars.
You’ll be able to buy a Ford online in the Midwest starting on Monday and the plan is to roll it out to all U.S. markets by the end of the year. So far, it’s been tested out in five states, including Ohio.
Chris Thornton, Ford’s retail network experience manager, described the shopping site as an online dealership. “We’ve taken elements from the sales process … and put those online,” he said in a phone call. That means less time at the car lot, though you’ll still have to go to the dealership to fill out some forms and arrange for the car delivery and pick-up.
On the site, you can search available inventory, see pricing details, and lock in a price for 48 hours. You can also apply for financing, look into a trade-in deal, sign up for a lease, and schedule a test drive.
The move online seems like an attempt to appease younger would-be car buyers who don’t have the patience for drawn-out sales pitches and long-winded explanations about pricing and incentives. But Thornton claims this new site is for everyone. “Whether you’re 20 years old or 65, it’s a very intuitive experience,” he said.
Ford’s coming up against longtime online car-buying sites like Carmax, Carvana, and TrueCar, but only offers Ford cars. If you’re deciding between a Ford Fiesta and a Honda Fit, this isn’t the site to comparison shop.
Now Ford just needs to build a car salesperson bot to fully emulate the dealership experience.