Scion Touts Pure Process
As anyone who has gone car shopping knows, going to third-party car pricing sites is attractive not only because you can get the 30,000-foot view of who's got which model where, and who's charging what. They also obviate, to some extent, the invidious haggling process.
Automotive industry expert and former head of Hyundai’s U.S. agency Innocean America Jim Sanfilippo says that for dealers, it's a do-or-die situation. "They will all have to do this because they will become irrelevant. These [third party] sites like TrueCar are eliminating normal dealer-to-dealer competition and cutting into their profit as well."
Ford, for example, launched FordDirect.com this summer, a joint program of Ford dealers and the automaker. The automaker was pretty explicit: the program is meant to: "Offer consumers the same convenience they have found in other Internet shopping experiences." The program lets customers configure, select, price, finance and initiate the purchase and schedule the delivery of a new car or truck from participating Ford dealers all online. The transaction is completed by a local Ford dealer. Notably, and by a large margin, Ford's dealer council liked the idea, which is up and running.
Now Scion is taking its Pure Process dealer network pricing to the people with a marketing campaign touting the platform as a way to do a big part of the purchase transaction online at a microsite within Scion.com.
The Toyota Motor division is loading the interactive microsite with tools to "build" a vehicle; calculate payments; and live-chat with Scion reps. The site also has custom videos on head-scratchers (and hackle raising) aspects of car buying like buy vs. lease options and how to qualify for financing.
As far as the haggle-reduction, Scion says the Pure Process platform means the dealer’s advertised price is the price a consumer pays. "No haggle. No hassle," says Scion, adding that parts and accessories are wrapped into the program. "So no negotiating is required."
The 30-second ad has a "Build, Find and Get" theme that focuses on online personalization, finding a dealer and getting a confirmed price and getting the car by doing all the invidious stuff online instead of in the dealer's office. In the spot a couple of 20-something guys (Scion's traditional target-buyer demo) sit on a couch listening the the guy upstairs yell with joy about the process. "I told him about getting my Scion," says one of the guys as the upstairs neighbor yells with surprise and joy. He tells his friend that he told the guy about Scion Pure Process.