And it's perfect for social distancing.
Going into a car dealership sucks. It's loud, the coffee is usually terrible, and you have to deal with a salesperson trying to part you from your hard-earned money. The internet was supposed to fix issues like these, taking away uncomfortable interactions and allows us to communicate from the comfort of our own homes. Some dealerships have caught on to the magic of online sales but not all franchises are as technologically literate.
Lincoln is stepping in with its own online purchasing experience called 'Lincoln Showcase.' Even though Lincoln showrooms have improved in recent years, this new service could not be arriving at a better time as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges individuals to practice social distancing to stop the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19).
Partnering with SightCall, a technology platform that offers virtual support, Lincoln Showcase allows clients to book a one-on-one virtual vehicle walk-around experience. Clients can schedule a 30-45 minute appointment with the Lincoln Experience Center, where an expert will use a stabilized camera to walk around the car and answer any questions. Lincoln has been considering a service like this for some time but with the recent outbreak of the coronavirus, the company fast-tracked the idea in just over one week's time. In other words, there's no risking coronavirus transmission.
The expert giving the virtual tour will do so from the Lincoln Experience Center in Frisco, Texas and in the future, Lincoln will also offer tours from its other Experience Center in Newport Beach, California. While giving clients a tour, the experts will be able to practice all social distancing guidelines, ensuring the health and safety of the entire team.
Once the walk-around is concluded, clients who wish to purchase a Lincoln can do so through the company's Effortless Sales Experience. The system is powered by a retail platform called AutoFi and will connect clients to their preferred dealership from virtually anywhere. AutoFi works with Lincoln Automotive Financial Services and the Lincoln website for leases and purchases with support for at-home delivery, so clients never have to step foot into a dealership. If you still require a test drive after the walk-around, you can schedule an appointment to have the car brought to your home as well. Pickups for service can also be scheduled without needing to go to the dealership.
So far, only the Lincoln Aviator and Lincoln Corsair are available for virtual walkarounds but Lincoln plans to offer more vehicles soon, including the Navigator. 150 Lincoln dealers have already enrolled and are able to provide clients with an all-online, no-covid19-risk-buying experience.