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Nissan Ireland has become the first car distributor in the country to allow customers to buy its entire car range online.
The new Nissan Ireland website, relaunched this week, features a 'Buy Now' button, which enables people to purchase a new Nissan from wherever they happen to be browsing the internet at the time.
The feature is designed to cater for customers who have already decided which model they're having and who simply want to complete the sales process online. A trial version of the system was used when the 40kWh Nissan Leaf was launched in 2018, with more than 200 customers placing online deposits for the car without visiting a showroom to view or test-drive the Leaf and another 2,500 people registering their interest in the electric vehicle through the website.
James McCarthy, CEO of Nissan Ireland, said of the 2018 trial and the new 2019 online buying process: "We were selling the car [the Leaf] before it hit the showroom floor. It proved how the market has changed and we have built upon that. We are expecting a similar experience ahead of the launch of the new 62kWh Nissan LEAF in June and we are certain that customers will fully embrace the option to buy from the full range of Nissan cars online."
Online payment for the cars is processed through Stripe, with buyers having to place a fully refundable €200 deposit once they have selected the specification and model of the new Nissan passenger car they wish to buy.
Mr McCarthy explained: "That is enough to secure their new car online and to automatically place an order with their nearest Nissan dealer. Online buyers can also use the new website to book a test drive and to complete a finance application, before engaging with their local Nissan dealer to complete the process of securing finance approval for their new Nissan."
Dealerships remain at the heart of the new process, as they cover the sales, delivery and after-sales service, but Mr McCarthy went on: "We are providing Nissan customers with the best of both worlds. Digital is reshaping the future of car sales and the car showroom, and we are moving with the times. Most buyers conduct their online research during their free time in the evenings. The 'Book a Test-Drive', 'Buy Now' and finance application harness the convenience of online to provide a welcome solution for customers and dealers alike."
Mr McCarthy added: "Buying a new Nissan is now only a click away. Car buyers are already researching which car to buy online, and can now take the next step and buy any new Nissan passenger car from any location at www.nissan.ie."