Mazda is spreading its pioneering MyWay car-buying initiative across up to 10 franchised dealers within the next year. This was announced by the brand’s UK managing director Jeremy Thomson.

The 2.5-year long pilot programme within the M25, generated more than 400 sales. Hendy’s Tunbridge Wells franchise is the first retailer to apply the scheme, using brand champions, predominantly young, non-motor-trade recruits.

The MyWay initiative is designed to reduce the anxiety involved in the car-selection and buying process with enhanced accessibility. Mazda MyWay provides the facility to test drive, configure online, buy, finance and service Mazdas away from dealership premises.  Customers liaise with brand champions, working without commission, as the main points of contact.

Manchester’s RRG will be the second retailer to offer the service. Their newly recruited brand champions are already on a five week training programme.

He confirmed that Mazda MyWay has resulted in higher than average network CSI levels. He put’s this down to the concierge experience of delivery and collection from customers’ homes or workplaces.

Mazda believes the initiative allows it to penetrate territories where the brand has had little or no presence and low awareness levels. It also provides sales potential in expensive urban areas without the need for conventional sites. Established dealers will provide the support infrastructure.

Jeremy said: “Our network is not being mandated or force fed into joining the programme. We will not and cannot support high cost metropolitan showcase outlets. Mazda is not about glorified corporate gin palaces. Much of the intelligence gleaned from the in-house MyWay approach will benefit the wider network and us. It is about new ways of engaging, via the internet, in a rapidly evolving omni-channel retailing environment.”

One of the internal findings is that MyWay involves significantly lower marketing budgets and results in personal recommendations. Participating dealers will recruit their own brand champions independently having been guided on the profile of staff hired by Mazda in the initial scheme.