The new website also offers access to finance options, unspecified discounts on list prices and 21-day comprehensive insurance. At first, Ka, Fiesta, Puma and Focus models will be available, with new models being launched in 2001, in the full standard specification.
Once a customer specifies a car, the system will search it out in the Ford network to find the closest match of vehicle from a selection of stock already built, which cuts delivery times. Once a price is quoted, a £200 reservation fee is paid through Visa, Mastercard, Switch or Solo credit cards, which is taken from the overall purchase price.
The closest dealer is automatically chosen, or customers can select one they want. Ford has also launched an online arbitration service to deal with any disputes arising from the service.
Ian McAllister, chairman and managing director of Ford, said: 'We are beginning something of a revolution. E-commerce is becoming more and more an accepted way of doing business. For a company like Ford, committed to providing customers with the services and products they want, the accessibility offered by internet buying is one that cannot be ignored. We will be selling direct to the customer for the first time.'