Aiways will skip dealerships in Europe
Aiways will offer its new battery electric SUV U5 in Europe exclusively through direct sales and not through traditional dealer networks. After sales and service will be handled by partners – the first ones for Europe have now been named.
The European market launch of the Airways U5 will start in August 2020 in Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland – other markets will follow soon.
The market launch, originally scheduled for April 2020, had to be postponed due to the spread of corona virus, as production of the U5 had been affected, Aiways said. “In recent weeks, the company has pooled resources and funds to fight the virus and support local people in their efforts to combat further spread,” the manufacturer writes in a press release. “Due to unforeseen circumstances, Aiways has brought forward production of the 2021 U5 model year to July 2020.” Production for Europe, which started in December 2019, had to be shut down again.
In a few days the company plans to present the European series version of the U5 at the Geneva Motor Show. During the presentation, the U5 will unintentionally receive a little more attention: According to Aiwyas, the U 6ion crossover coupé could not be transported to Geneva in time for the press conference because of the corona virus. However, the top management will be present, as reported by local media.
With direct sales, Aiways wants to simplify the traditional “customer journey”. “Aiways’ sales model makes access to the battery-electric U5 very easy”, Alexander Klose, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Management for international business. “It makes it easier for customers to buy our car online. We are currently weighing up different models.” At the market launch there will be a leasing offer, later on also a subscription or the classic purchase.
However, there are still some open points until the sales start: According to the company, the European version of the website is still in progress. Interested parties should be able to use this portal to obtain information, book test drives and later configure the vehicle and create a leasing offer.
In addition, the ‘dealerships’ that will offer the test drives still have to be set up. For Germany, Aiways has entered into cooperation with the electronics retailer Euronics. Both companies have already “defined central locations “where electric vehicle experts are available to advise and provide the best service”. But: all this still has to be implemented and, in the best case, tested by August.
In a separate announcement, Euronics states that up to 30 selected specialist dealers will include the U5 in their product range. Customers are to be advised there and an installation service for wall boxes will also be offered. Loading the demonstration cars should not be a problem: In cooperation with EnBW, charging stations have already been installed in the car parks of 50 dealers.
Further partners to be named by summer
The service – which according to Aiways is only planned every 100,000 kilometres on the U5 – is to be handled by A.T.U in Germany. The Chinese manufacturer sees the partner model as a “significantly more efficient and customer-friendly option for vehicle maintenance” than setting up exclusive Aiways service workshops – also because of the long service intervals.
Here too there is still something to be ironed out: The announced cooperation is so far only based on a principal agreement between the two companies. A.T.U and Aiways have not yet signed a final contract for the service business, as this is still being negotiated. “Details will be worked out and announced by both companies by the time the U5 goes on sale,” writes Aiways in a press release. Until then, other regional service providers and service partners are also to be named.
With reporting by Sebastian Schaal, Germany.
Source: Press release via email