Volkswagen UK’s dealer showrooms get a revampTue, 23 Apr 2013 00:00:00 -0700
It’s an interesting exercise to ponder on the future of main dealer showrooms as the world moves more and more towards an online buying experience. Are car showrooms a relic of the past or the perfect way, still, to showcase the offerings from a car maker?
Volkswagen are taking no chances on the future and have already rolled out their ‘Digital Showrooms’ across the dealer network where staff get iPads and advanced web tools to try and bring the on-line and off-line worlds in to a workable intersection, and offer customers virtual product that wouldn’t otherwise be available on show.
Now Volkswagen are taking the sensible route of making their dealer experience more of a social event; a meeting place where buyers and their families feel comfortable, ‘at home’ and pampered to.
VW are busy revamping the offerings at the dealerships with all new showrooms having space for at least 10 new VWs, decent waiting and refreshment areas, merchandise and accessories easily accessible, state of the art workshops and free Wi-Fi (which could be a reason just to park up outside a VW showroom if you need a Wi-Fi connection in a hurry).
Some dealers are also fitting stuff like proper cafes, play areas for children and dedicated vehicle handover areas, all designed to make the dealer visit more appealing and more inclusive.
VW plan to have revamped 70 of their 210 UK dealerships by the end of this year, with the entire network titivated and ready by the end of 2015.
Spencer Clayton-Jones, VW’s man in charge of this sort of thing, said:
We’re making fantastic progress on the project. Where the changes are complete we’ve noticed a large uplift in customer visits, purchases and staff morale. Customers are clearly enthusiastic about coming to the new showrooms and this suggests when they do they’re happy, engaged and serious about buying a car.
If they like the environment it follows they’ll want to come back for regular maintenance, which has definite benefits for them, and of course, for our Retailers.
It’s a sensible move to offer more than just a smash and grab on your wallet in VW’s dealer network. clearly offering a more interesting experience once you’ve done your basic homework on your device of choice – car reviews, price comparisons, special offers – ahead of a, now more appealing, visit to your VW dealer.
By Cars UK