Doing most things that would historically involve contact with other people is not only dangerous these days, it's also incredibly weird. That's why we were excited to hear about Nissan's plan to offer a fully online car buying experience that should help alleviate some of the weirdness.
Announced Monday, the service is called Nissan@home and lets prospective buyers schedule and complete a test drive, do all the negotiation and paperwork of buying the car, and schedule and take final delivery of their vehicle, from their computer or mobile device. Nissan@home can also be used to schedule service appointments.
Since this summer, the program has been in the pilot stage, with seven dealerships in Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Texas and Virginia offering it to their customers. The reaction was generally positive -- much as we'veat online purchasing -- so the plan is now getting its nationwide rollout.
"You see what's happening now with holiday shopping. Online buying is massive and absolutely what today's consumer is wanting. COVID-19 has only increased that demand," Dan Banister, owner of Banister Nissan of Chesapeake and Banister Nissan of Norfolk, said in a statement. "It was remarkable what we found during the test this summer. Our sales close rate nearly doubled with customers who used this online shopping solution."
Nissan@home will be available at participating dealerships starting in the spring of 2021. However, it will be interesting to see how many of Nissan's franchise dealers jump on the bandwagon by then.