Nowadays you can shop for pretty much everything from the comfort of your home, without leaving bed. New and used cars are on the list, as there is a vast majority of dealers offering this option, but is this really what people want?
NASCAR team owner, mega car dealer and avid collector Rick Hendrick believes the answer is a firm ‘no’. According to AutoWeek, the businessman who generated $9 billion in revenue after selling for than 200,000 vehicles and servicing 2.6 million cars and trucks in 2017, said that while many customers will look at cars online before taking a decision, they would rather see it in person prior to signing their names on the dotted line.
”A lot of people will look at a car online. When it gets down to giving them your Social Security number and all of the other information, they’re a little bit more cautious”, he said. “Not many people want to buy a car [with] 60,000, 50,000 or 100,000 miles without seeing it.”
When it comes to the whole car ownership experience, “service is still the key”, added Hendrick, who made his fortune by selling cars and is currently the owner of over 140 automotive franchises and 96 dealerships across the States. “If you take good care of the customer, you have owner base, you really have a good reputation, you make sure that nobody leaves there unhappy; then you’re still going to get the bulk of the business.”
He may not agree to the online selling concept, but Hendrick is certain that they are ready for it, should the trend shift in this direction. “We’re going to stay in step with [the customers]. If they want it online completely, we can do it. If we can take it to their house, whatever the other folks do, we can do. None of those folks have the shop, the parts and the service. Most people want somebody to take care of it after the sale.”
Rick Hendrick has a long history with ‘firsts’. One of his dealerships was the first to take delivery of the initial batch of the new Corvette C8, and he’s also the owner of the first 2020 ‘Vette, for which he paid $3 million. He also owns a lot of other first cars, including the Corvette Stingray C7, Z06 and ZR1, Camaro ZL1 1LE, Acura NSX and Ford GT Heritage Edition, to count just a few.