Senior business and information-technology managers from’s 500-strong U.K. dealer network are urged to concentrate on providing an enjoyable and positive online experience as well as good customer service, both pre- and post-transaction.
The more than 100 dealers attended the company's second profitability and technology conference, exploring new opportunities to improve efficiency and customer communication through the use of cutting-edge technology and online resources.
Belinda Poole, senior industry head-Google Automotive, told the dealers most customers conduct their car-buying research online and will decide on their desired make and model before ever stepping into a dealership.
“One of the most exciting changes Google has witnessed in recent years is the fact that over 20% of Internet car searches on Google now occur on a mobile or tablet-based device,” she says.
The conference also marks the start of collaboration betweenand the Carbon Trust, an organization helping U.K. businesses, governments and the public sector accelerate the move to a low-carbon economy through energy-saving strategies and commercialization of low-emissions technologies.
Ford says the link with the trust aims to reduce the carbon footprint of Ford’s U.K. dealer network through the adoption of new energy-efficient technology and eco-friendly processes at dealerships.
Working with the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, the Carbon Trust has found many dealerships can achieve cost savings of up to 10%. Installing new energy-efficient lighting, heating, ventilation and cooling equipment can vastly reduce a dealer’s carbon footprint and the returns on investment can be surprisingly quick, the auto maker says.
“In a challenging economy, the opportunity for improving energy efficiency and reducing costs is important to Ford, its dealers and the U.K. motor industry as a whole,” Ford of Britain Managing Director Mark Ovenden says in a statement.