Ford introduces virtual test drives for its new compact SUV
Customers can test drive the Ford Puma from the comfort of their own homes.
From Zoom meetings to online grocery shopping, the COVID-19 pandemic has meant we’ve all had to learn how to do things a bit differently.
Ford Australia has responded to the challenge by offering virtual test drives of its soon-to-be-released Puma compact SUV.
The Puma is a new-generation compact SUV sourced from Europe and will go up against the likes of the Mazda CX-3 and Hyundai Venue.
But not everyone will be in a position to test drive the new model. While Queenslanders are fortunate to be able to move around freely, most Victorians are confined to barracks due to government lockdowns, while elsewhere across the country many people remain reluctant to visit dealerships and take an actual test drive.
Ford has responded to the challenge by embracing the social-distancing-inspired technological revolution and offering virtual test drives of the new Puma, along with what it says are a range of other initiatives to make shopping for a new vehicle simpler, easier and more transparent.
Ford Australia’s “desk drives” virtual test drive program will see the company and its dealerships host Facebook Live events via the Ford Australia Facebook page, enabling Australians to access the new Puma from wherever they choose.
Participants will be able to experience a “walkaround” to explore the new Puma’s design and features, which include wireless smartphone charging, SYNC 3 with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto compatibility and FordPass Connect embedded modem.
Ford dealerships across the country are also offering driveaway pricing on the new model from launch, with the entry-level Puma FWD available for $31,990, the mid-spec ST-Line available for $33,990, and the top-spec ST-Line V available for $36,990.
In addition, customers who test drive Puma in person during September and October 2020 will receive a bonus of $500, or $1000 loyalty bonus for existing Ford owners.
“The all-new Puma is a cutting edge, sharply designed and smartly packaged urban SUV that strengthens customer choice in Australia,” said President and CEO, Ford Australia and New Zealand Andrew Birkic.
“Making life even easier and simpler, these introductory offers show a new way of thinking, and we’ve worked with our dealer network to offer customers a straightforward, informative and effortless experience.”
Like most car makers, Ford has experiencing a steep sales downturn in 2020, with its August year-to-date figure of 36,122 representing a decline of almost 18% on August 2019.
While the figures are no doubt well short of where Ford would like them to be, they are at least slightly better than the overall market, which is down by just over 20%.
The first Puma “desk drive” is scheduled for late September 2020 with full details and additional dates at Ford Australia’s Facebook page.