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Analysis of the websites of foreign car manufacturers: Mercedes, Audi and BMW

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It is clear that the automakers are not yet offering their products for sale on the internet. Fiat is the only company with a model dedicated to the web and that too only in Italy. Dealers are definitely not ready for this new form of competition. All sites are equipped to ensure that each user is able to make the vehicle of his dreams. We may consider that the configuration is the first step towards selling online, as the system is accurate and complete.

Jean Triomphe, the founder of, launched this approach in France for pre-owned vehicles, so that every consumer may find his car as quickly as possible and at the best price. "When he entered the process of online sales, dealer subscribers receive a dozen requests by me that can generate an average of 5 sales," said the young executive in charge of marketing and communications group.

To cope with the new Internet users, manufacturers must react quickly in order not to lose too high a market share. The solution is based on being proactive instead of reactive to avoid any loss of profit on their products. E-commerce is growing in all sectors of consumption, from books and CDs to computers and homes. Cars seem to be the next target of future e-business.

The brand communication is based on the pleasure of driving the car is presented as an object of desire and not as a mere means of locomotion.

BMW communication is built on the desire and the fascination surrounding its cars from motorists. In its relations with its customers, the brand has managed to transcend the purely mercantile vision to focus on the content of the information it provides. It is a constant in messages BMW commercial proposals are kept to a minimum, focusing primarily focused on the recognition of the customer. "Direct marketing is important to us, a vector image as a means of creating traffic to our network," said Stephane Actis, Internet marketing manager for BMW.

Simple and effective: two words that perfectly characterize the BMW brand and the manufacturer is fully revealed on its website. Vehicle staged, can configure their car, everything is done to dream and never talk about price or any other financial aspect.

BMW offers us an excellent example of advanced branding on the Internet. In fact, this manufacturer has a brand approach than on technology leadership, however, cleverly linking the two. The objective is to ensure that its site is a reflection of his models: fun to "drive". Indeed, it allows customers to build the car of their dreams and even hear the engine noise of the 6 Series and Z4 Roadster.

BMW, through this site highlights the brand and its dealers by directing potential customers to its dealers.

Unlike commercial sites, BMW prefers that these new buyers deal directly with traditional retailers, not only because the manufacturer does not have the technology to sell on the Internet, but also because he believes that face to face exchanges and concrete linkages are much more efficient in the relationship with its customers.

While the market for used vehicles is becoming increasingly important on the net, BMW opted to remain in its niche by emphasizing its brand and dealer network. Despite numerous proposals for sites specializing in hand, the Bavarian brand has chosen to be the one to disseminate its offer opportunity through their site and their resellers.

Tags: online communication; websites of Mercedes, Audi and BMW; e-commerce

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