ch05_case01 car sales - Evolving business models in the...

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Evolving business models in the Internet car sales market Some of Internet retail’s magic-wand promises of an instant revolution appear to be drying up, and perhaps nowhere is this more apparent than in the US auto retail market. Car web retailing is in the midst of change – again. Take, for example, this headline from the industry trade magazine, Automotive News, published in August: ‘Reports of the dealer’s demise appear to have been premature.’ The first wave of web retailing of cars is already past with some very notable casualties, including the cessation of operations at and doom-and-gloom parting shots by the former head of’s auto sales. Nevertheless, selling cars via the World Wide Web is far from dead. The model has simply shifted back in favour of the traditional strengths of dealers, manufacturers and some mega auto retail sites: access to a network of cars to sell. The Internet was supposed to help consumers to bypass, if not to kill off, the unpleasantness in buying a car: haggling with the car dealers. Buyers would log on to the Internet, configure a car to their own specification, or just browse and negotiate anonymously in serenity. The promises came fast and furious. Venture capital was thrown at new ideas designed to sell cars over the
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This note was uploaded on 11/02/2010 for the course BUSSINES 210 taught by Professor Ali during the Spring '09 term at United Arab Emirates University.

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ch05_case01 car sales - Evolving business models in the...

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