Giant automakers like BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Tesla are trying to boost their revenues by ramping up their online presence amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Most Chinese plants and factories were shut down to contain the outbreak, hardly hitting the sales of automobile industries. While people in the mainland choose to stay indoors and stay away from showrooms.
“In face of the current situation, we have extended our online offer and observe a positive response from our customers,” said Mercedes-Benz spokesperson.
Reports said that China’s automotive company Geely also becomes the latest to join the online trend to cope with the virus’ impact on their business, thus, maintain its financial stability.
Through the companies’ respective websites, the customers can order and configure their cars.
Test drives can also be conducted, without going to the showroom, because the car can be driven directly to the customer’s address.
Due to the coronavirus, car sales in China, the world’s largest market for carmakers, fell more than 90% in February.
The country’s Association of Automobile Manufacturers said that the nationwide sales might record a plunge of 5 to 10 % at the end of the year. It added that the outcome for 2020 doesn’t seem bright and will most likely depend on how long the outbreak lasts.
On the other hand, market research company Frost & Sullivan said “the coronavirus will provide the impetus to digital retailing for cars” and it estimates that around 6 million vehicles will be sold through online platforms by 2025.