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July 20, 2009

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Home » Business » Auto

Buyers of Skoda just click to purchase

BUYERS will be able to purchase Skoda cars without visiting the showroom or leaving home, as the Volkswagen-owned Czech unit becomes the first auto maker in China yesterday to launch online buying services.

Skoda's new Website,, will allow potential Skoda consumers to communicate and conduct transactions by simply clicking the mouse.

"The Skoda eBuy site will bring a fresh experience in car sales," said Wu Jianhua, general manager of Shanghai Bailian (Group) Material Trading Co. "As pace of life quickens, the Internet is becoming dominant with its convenience, high efficiency and is particularly favored by young white-collar workers" who are tech-savvy.

The Skoda eBuy site will allow consumers to complete purchases through a 3D showroom.

It will also help them with individualized orders and price inquiry.

Buyers can also pay a deposit online through eBuy's strategic partner, Alipay, an online payment arm of Alibaba.

Biggest market

But analysts questioned whether the site would gain widespread acceptance as consumers are usually more cautious when buying big-ticket items online.

China has became Skoda's biggest overseas market after Germany last year with combined sales of 59,000 units, a surge of 170 percent from a year earlier.

The Czech auto maker owns 200 dealers in 104 cities nationwide.

Individual Skoda dealers must choose to join the new site.

Shanghai Bailian Hubei 4S became the first Skoda eBuy dealer. Wang Shilong, its general manager, said consumers applying for online sales would enjoy priority to buy price-discounted Skoda models.

Fu Qiang, director of the Skoda project at Shanghai Volkswagen Automobile Co, said the first batch of six dealers in Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou and Xiamen will launch the online sales. By next year, nearly half of Skoda's dealers will join the online program.


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