Buying a car online? Galaxus is convinced it works
Cars enter the Galaxus range via a secret importer. Buying a car at the click of a mouse? What would have been unthinkable in the past is now seen by experts as promising.
Are you buying a pig in a poke when you purchase a new car via an online portal? Galaxus will provide the answer. As of now, the online retailer has six models from Hyundai, Toyota, Honda and BMW on offer. Unlike common online configurators from car manufacturers, there is nothing to decide at Galaxus: Color and equipment are fixed and cannot be freely selected by the customer. The advantage: Galaxus offers the vehicles at prices that are 10 to 40 percent below the official list price. The Honda Civic 1.5, for example, is a concrete example of this: the list price is over 35,000 francs, but Galaxus sells it for just under 25,000 francs.
A "trade secret" is who imports the vehicles into Switzerland for Galaxus at this price, says Galaxus founder Oliver Herren to the SonntagsZeitung. The first car Galaxus added to its range was the VW Touareg, which also features in the new campaign (Werbewoche.ch reported). The offer - also pre-configured and considerably cheaper than on the official price list - was included in the range for a short time in cooperation with Amag at the time. As the SonntagsZeitung writes, Amag is working on its own, second attempt to launch an online store. Already two years ago, a similar project was launched, but never realized. The online offering should be up and running within the next twelve months.
Do the Swiss even want to put a vehicle costing several tens of thousands of francs in their shopping cart at the click of a mouse without having test-driven it and without being able to configure it? "We're targeting customers who already know what they want and don't want to make a big deal out of buying a car," says Herren. Thomas Lang from the e-commerce consulting firm Carpathia also gives the Galaxus project good chances: "The generation of 30- to 50-year-olds in particular has hardly any fear of contact," he says about the willingness of customers. Consultations are less and less in demand, he says, and people even want to avoid personal contact with the salesperson the longer they do so.
Tesla, for example, shows how and that it works. The U.S. manufacturer operates sales outlets, but plans to close many of them and rely even more on online sales.
The trend toward online and direct purchasing is creating a dilemma for carmakers: they have spent decades building and maintaining a dealer network. But now they also want to meet the growing customer demand for direct purchases - a conflict of objectives with the middlemen.
Galaxus cares little about that. Anyone who decides to buy a car gets it delivered to their home free of postage, just like all the other items. Fully fueled and with a highway toll sticker. The online retailer also offers rental options for the vehicles.