• Kyodo

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Honda Motor Co. on Monday began selling new cars online, becoming the first major Japanese automobile manufacturer to allow customers in the domestic market to complete the whole purchase process online, from consultation to contract.

The service is only being offered to Tokyo residents initially and will be expanded nationwide in the future. Honda hopes to cultivate demand from customers who want to avoid face-to-face service amid the coronavirus pandemic, and from younger people.

Online car sales have already been introduced overseas by such automakers as electric vehicle giant Tesla Inc. Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co. have set up a system in the United States that allows customers to complete the purchase of new cars online.

On a website operated by a subsidiary of Honda, customers can select a car model, decide on options and apply for a car loan. Customers only need to go to the showroom when taking delivery of their cars.

The vehicles available for online purchase will be mainstay models with high sales volume.

Nissan will also allow customers in Japan to finish purchases online of its new Ariya electric sport utility vehicle, which is scheduled to go on sale this winter.

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