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AutoNation, the nation’s largest automotive retailer, is set to push hard on providing Internet-based services and other Internet offerings, according to Gary Marcotte, senior VP of e-commerce, who was addressing the J.D. Power Automotive Internet Roundtable Oct. 17-19 in Las Vegas.

“We’re nowhere with services online,” says Marcotte. But by adding electronic-based services for appointments, research, delivery status, bill pay and parts, AutoNation is going to put itself on an equal footing with service-only providers. And it will be able to leverage the public’s perception of dealers as providing superior quality services.

“If we do this, we’ll give JiffyLube a jolt,” Marcotte says. “It is not so hard to do. People expect this kind of experience” based on travel, hospitality, etc. “They don’t have to go to Pep Boys” just because it is easier to schedule. Now it won’t be. “They already believe we have the best quality service.”

Personally, I avoid dealers for servicing because they charge too much. But we’ll see whether improved Internet services will make a difference for them.

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