What became of the Fuller Brush Man?

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Hyundai’s recent announcement of the Shopper Assurance program (https://www.hyundainews.com/en-us/releases/2417) created a stir in the dealership world, in part because of the Flexible Test Drive.  This allows for a qualified customer to get a car brought to them at their convenience to conduct the test drive.

The press release described it as the “future of car buying…”

Seems to me they are just taking a page from a 1920’s playbook, where the “Fuller Brush Man” would go door-to-door showing his products to households and making the buying experience much easier.

Over time, the FBM would gain the trust of his customers  by periodically showing up with much needed products, and new products to make their life easier; by bringing the product to the customer to make the buying decision.

How sad for the auto industry  the car customer does not have that level of trust with car sales people, to the point that bringing a car to a customer for a test drive is marketed as such a big deal.  I don’t put the fault of this with the auto sales person, but with the dealership business.

They have built nice dealerships to entice visitors, but the process is too much about making the dealership business easier…not making the car buying easier for the customer.  The idea of letting the customer experience the car "on their turf" should result in dealership visits that are more about the customer experience and less about the dealership process.

I hope this is successful and the trend expands so the customer is more in control of the process and more satisfied with the overall buying experience.