Chinese automaker Aiways will launch a “dealer-less” sales strategy for the European market.
The Shanghai company says its new U5 all-electric SUV will be sold only through a direct-to-customer Internet sales model and not retailed or leased through traditional car dealerships.
Aiways’ sales model will operate through a dedicated European website to allow buyers to research models, book test drives, configure vehicles and sign up to usage periods that suit their needs. To meet these needs, the automaker says it is establishing nontraditional “showrooms” throughout Europe. Its first partnership will be with the electronics retail chain Euronics in Germany to reflect the products’ focus on new technology.
Consumers should be able to begin the leasing process online, choosing from several shortand long-term options. Ultimately, both new and used vehicles will be available through the program, backed by a dedicated European leasing partner to be announced soon.
Aftersales care in Europe, including technical support and servicing, will come from a network of established specialists who have received training and guidance on the U5 and its technological systems. Aiways quotes the car’s scheduled maintenance as every 62,000 miles (100,000 km).
It also says production of U5 has been impacted by COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and instead of sales commencing this spring, they will begin in July with the first European deliveries slated for August 2020.
Alexander Klose, executive vice-president overseas operation at Aiways, says: “Aiways’ sales model will improve access to the all-electric U5 and make it easy to buy a car online. We are considering different types of ownership models, ranging from subscription to outright purchase, but starting with leasing.