The days of going to test drive 5 or 6 cars when you have made the decision to replace yours, have gone. We are seeing more car manufacturers following Tesla’s policy of opening stores in shopping centres and improving the buying experience for the consumer.
My wife and I are currently in the process of changing her car. This was instigated by the dealership through which we hire her current vehicle, contacting her to say the current deal is coming towards its end. Previously we would have just gone along to meet with them to discuss our options - which we still did - but having been disappointed with the experience, we did what we do with everything else we buy, we researched online. Rather than being led/pushed in one direction, we were able to specify and tailor our requirements, have broader options and the upshot is we now know what we want to buy. A bit like when you upgrade your mobile phone!
Car manufacturers using retail spaces could be the vision for the future - and combining this with their online platforms, enabling us to buy cars directly, might ultimately be a major shift change in the way we purchase cars. I wonder how long until all the other car manufacturers follow suit?
Seat has just opened its second retail space in the UK that isn’t a dealership. It’s a unit in the enormous Westfield shopping centre in west London; it’s got test drives available, demonstrator cars on the shop floor, lifestyle products and merchandise on display, and product experts to explain every detail of the car to you. As retail solutions go, it’s one of the less out-there ones; in essence, it’s a smaller version of a dealership in a shopping centre.