Last week suspected TescoCars.com partner Carsite put up an ‘undergoing maintenance’ notice on its website. But by Saturday, however, the website no longer worked and instead all its technology had been plugged into TescoCars.com.
The move could shake up the way cars are sold online, with claims that it will make the process of buying a car easier for customers.
Does it spell trouble for Nissan dealers? Tesco’s brand name and reputation will undoubtably mean it picks up some customers and mean competition for good retail used car stock. But a franchised dealer still has key advantages for buyers. Firstly, most buyers will want to see the potential purchase for ‘real’, and unlike TescoCars.com, customers are able to part exchange their old car at a Nissan dealer.
‘When the internet boom started everyone was concerned that selling new cars online would wipe out the traditional forecourt, but it didn’t,’ says Nissan GB managing director, Paul Willcox.
‘New competition such as this can actually improve our business, as customers researching online can see what extra benefits they can gain by going to a Nissan dealer, and the good value we offer. We should all be prepared by making sure our used car operations are in good shape and using all of the tools available to capture new customers looking online for a used car.’
TescoCars.com promises to make buying cars easy giving customers the pick of ‘thousands of used cars’. Customers find their car online, secure it with a £99 deposit, then receive a full RAC report with video and photo gallery. If the customer is happy they can collect it or have it delivered to their home for just £149.
Currently there are only 50 cars for sale but it’s likely these will grow quickly. It’s rumoured that Tesco will not actually hold any stock – buying instead on demand from customers.
This is easily possible with the ex-lease cars bought from Motability, the probable source of all cars. MFLdirect offers trade buyers the chance to buy cars on demand from its website, perfect for Tesco’s offering.
Nissan recently announced the launch of Nissan Cared4 – a new used car programme that could help Nissan dealers combat the threat posed by Tesco. To read more, click here.