Honda starts selling cars online in Japan – paultan.org
Earlier this week, Honda became the first major Japanese automaker to offer its domestic customers the chance to procure new cars online, with the entire process from consultation to contract being completed virtually. The new digital route is handled by the an online subscription service called Honda ON, Kyodo News reports.
The virtual store allows users to secure a vehicle at any time without ever visiting a dealer, with everything from business negotiation, quotation, purchase car assessment, contract and even car insurance being accomplished via your smartphone.
Customers can choose a three- or five-year contract for one of four mainstay models available under the service, which are the N-Box, Fit (Jazz), Freed and Vezel (HR-V), paying monthly fees that include the cost of maintenance and compulsory inspection.
They can also decide on options for the vehicle, and will only need to go to the showroom when taking delivery of their cars. In addition, there is an option to buy out a subscribed car before the contract expires.
Toyota offers a similar subscription service in Japan, which allows customers to return the vehicle when the contract expires. Users of Toyota’s service will incur an extra charge if their vehicle exceeds a certain mileage.
The Honda ON service is currently available only to Tokyo residents, but the company said it will be expanded nationwide next year. Online vehicle sales isn’t a new thing, having already been introduced in other markets by such automakers as Tesla, but Honda is hoping to cultivate domestic demand from younger users and customers who want to avoid face-to-face service as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
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