Ditching the dealership: Ford rolls out online car shopping in Michigan

DETROIT – If you're tired of going to the dealership, Ford has some great news for you.

The Dearborn-based automaker announced Monday the plan to roll out online car-buying in the Midwest with the goal of rolling it out nationwide by the end of 2018.

“Our customers are busy people, whether with daily work demands or spending time with their families. Quality time is scarce and downtime is even more so,” said Mark LaNeve, vice president, U.S. Marketing, Sales and Service. “Ready.Shop.Go. allows them to find the perfect vehicle online, spend significantly less time at the dealership and drive away with their new ride sooner.”

ALSO SEE: Pres. Trump's new economic adviser suggests Detroit auto companies 'go south'

Launching in several Midwestern states this month ahead of becoming available throughout the country by the end of 2018, Ready.Shop.Go. offers:

  • Pricing transparency – participating dealers set vehicle pricing, including taxes and fees
  • Personalized incentives
  • Finance and lease options
  • Consumer promise honoring quoted deal for 48 hours (subject to vehicle availability)
  • Pricing comparison -  review actual prices with the Kelley Blue Book® Price Advisor and Trade-In Values
  • Options for scheduling test drives
  • Online credit application process through Ford Credit
  • Ability to save a deal and return later to complete the process
  • Customer selects preferred method of contact by dealership
  • Assignment of single point of contact on the dealer end to ensure the experience is well managed for the customer throughout the process

Future iterations of Ready.Shop.Go. will include customizable purchase and lease options powered by AutoFi, a fintech company in which Ford Motor Credit Company has invested. Customers also will be able to remotely review and digitally execute contracts with Ford Credit in the future.

“As we worked with our dealers to develop Ready.Shop.Go., it was important to make sure the experience benefited both our customers and our dealers,” said LaNeve “This experience delivers the functionality and flexibility customers need to select a vehicle at their preferred dealership, then apply for financing before ever stepping into a showroom, saving both customers and dealers valuable time.”

Check out the buying tool here.

About the Authors:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.