Plus ca change

Posted by CJD on November 18, 2011

I’ve just bought a new car. This is something I do regular but maybe not frequently – the last one I bought is now almost 12 years old.

I was expecting that the intertubes would have changed how you go about doing this, but I was amused to see that the car dealerships and manufacturers are still doing it the way they always have.

I bought my last car from the internet from a surprised main dealer who hadn’t realised that a car advertised locally could be found nationally using the new(ish) google thingy.

Certainly in the mid 90’s I thought that the internet would disintermediate everything – ie remove the middle man and connect the consumer directly with the manufacturer. But this has proven surprisingly difficult to do even in very obvious area such as house and white goods sales.

It’s not as though the middle men add much value; with my new car purchase I pick the car I want and the option features to add, then the agent sends the order to the manufacturer who builds the car to order. For this they receive – well how much do they receive? Why can’t I fill in an internet form on the manufacturer’s web site and input the order direct?

Maybe it’s just going to take a bit longer – will another 12 years do it?

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