With Italy being one of the hardest-hit areas in the world due to the COVID-19 (or Coronavirus) crisis, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is implementing new ways for those citizens who are considering the purchase of a new vehicle and want to get in touch with an FCA sales consultant. FCA has launched a dedicated service to enable dealers and customers to communicate without anyone having to leave home.
The process allows sales negotiations to be carried out online, rather than in the showroom. FCA sales personnel have had special training and are able to help customers configure a new vehicle, prepare a quote, and present financing options. Customers can now request an appointment by phone or e-mail and they will receive a link to connect directly with a sales consultant. No special software installation is required.
The technology is in thanks to the Google Hangouts Meet app. You might remember, the other day we talked about the Jeep® brand using the Google Hangouts Meet app to help launch the ordering process for the new Jeep® Renegade and Compass 4xe First Edition vehicles. The Google Hangouts Meet app is an intuitive tool for online communications, with the ability to view files, images, and make video calls. This means customers considering a purchase can have the same direct personal contact with their trusted FCA dealer.
The only part of the buying process that has to be conduction in person is the transaction. Since the program is being rolled out in Italy, FCA is allowing those transactions to be completed as circumstances allow and are in accordance with the Italian government’s directives.
FCA is promoting the new process via a digital campaign using the slogan “Parked at home, but always on the move!” to highlight the importance of rigorously observing the requirement to stay at home while remaining proactive and looking optimistically to the future.
With a majority of our readers being from North America, they might be thinking what does this have to do with us. Well, FCA has said it is using Italy as a pilot market for this project. The company has also mentioned that given the easy-to-use technology, the program will be extended to other countries. So could the North American market be one of those countries? We aren’t sure. But it does open up new ideas to how dealerships can operate without traffic walking into their showrooms and their sales staff can work from home.
As for the transaction part, we are sure that FCA will be looking at ideas such as internet or credit card transactions to ensure that dealers and their sales staff can just deliver the car with most of the paperwork done over the internet.