MILAN - Italy's first new-car sales website run by dealers has been formed by a group of independent car retailers.
The Internet site - www.autoworld.it - offers new and used cars for various domestic and import brands through a network of nine dealer groups spread throughout Italy.
In addition to selling cars and services, www.autoworld.it includes a business-to-business platform for dealers. The e-marketplace will be used not only to exchange new and used cars, but also for purchasing commodities.
To date, Autoworld is the only site in Italy where customers can negotiate the purchase of a new car online. Other Internet sites in the country offer used cars only.
Deals are closed at the dealer site, not on the net.
Plans call for expanding the number of participating dealers to 60 by the summer and to 200 within 18-24 months. Backers say that number will allow the site to guarantee a broad range of services, both in terms of brand variety and geographic coverage.
'The right way to buy cars on the Internet is to interact with those who specialize in selling cars - which means dealers like us,' said Piero Mocarelli, head of Car World Italia SpA, a Milan-based dealer group that last year sold 17,000 Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Lancia cars. Mocarelli was key figure in the creation of Autoworld.
New partners are being sought.