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The pandemic didn't kill traditional car buying, but it made clear dealers should get ready for a new way of selling

The pandemic didn't kill traditional car buying, but it made clear dealers should get ready for a new way of selling

The pandemic forced dealership to figure out new ways to sell cars.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images




COVID-19 was supposed to transform the traditionally in-person, time-consuming, analog and often unpleasant car-buying process.




Although there was innovation and some consumers bought cars almost entirely online, the dealership model remains the primary way to get a new set of wheels.




As the US market recovers and a second or third wave of the pandemic looms, the old way of doing business could be tested again.




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At a time when you can buy almost anything online with a click, purchasing a car remains defiantly old-school. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, most customers who wanted to buy or lease a new vehicle had to visit a dealership, take a test drive, sit down with a salesperson to come to terms, and then spend hours with a finance professional to work out a car loan.The process has earned the car-buying experience a bad name and compelled many customers, especially young ones, to seek an alternative.When COVID-19 made in-person meetings a health hazard, many assumed that change was on the way. For some buyers, it arrived.
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