Is direct-to-consumer sales, which eliminate the dealership from the purchasing process, the futures of car sales? According to the senior vice president of Lynk & Co Alain Visser, the answer is “yes.”
Millennials aren’t interested in setting foot in a dealership said Visser in his presentation to an audience of dealership representatives at the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) conference last week in The Big Easy, New Orleans, Louisiana.
Tesla has paved the way for direct-to-consumer sales in the US, battling dealer associations in court for the right to do so. According to Visser, the Chinese-based automobile manufacturer Lynk & Co, also plans to market direct to the consumer when their 01 SUV hits the American marketplace in 2019.
Visser touted Lynk & Co’s subscription model of direct-to-consumer marketing as the future of car sales, in which drivers would replace their vehicle every couple of years in a manner similar to their smart phone,
Under Visser’s vision, customers will have their Lynk & Co vehicle delivered to them after an online transaction. The vehicles would be picked up and returned to the customer when servicing is required, which would likely take place at a nearby Volvo dealership. Much of the mechanicals in use by Lynk & Co are supplied by Volvo, plus Volvo is owned by Geely, so in a sense it’s all in the family.
Whether Millennials consider a purchase made in a dealership a handshake with the Devil remains to be seen. Having options though empowers the customer; dealerships have had the upper hand for far too long.
Lynk & Co has yet to announce its plans for Canada.