Audi are on a mission to revolutionise car showrooms, or so it would seem they are with their new, innovative, digital showroom in London that has opened; it has been dubbed Audi City. The new and ultra cool showroom showcases the company’s line up in a 1:1 scale digital format. Visitors to the showroom are able to completely spec and customise their model to their particular taste before viewing their Audi on a large 1:1 scale screen.
Audi are the first car company in the world to open a digital showroom and it has given them new outlets around the world that they wouldn’t have been able to acquire with a traditional showroom format.
Visitors will be able to spec their Audi to their tastes whilst details such as drivetrain, bodyshell or LED tech can also be presented to them.
Audi’s marketing and sales boss, Peter Schwarzenbauer, has stated: “Audi City combines the best of two worlds – digital product presentation and personal contact with the dealer. This new retail format brings us even closer to our customers – geographically, of course, but first and foremost in terms of the quality of our relationship. Audi City offers new freedom for tailor-made services and an even more individual contact with the customer. We are creating a one-stop shop for experiencing our brand.”
This move by Audi really highlights the age of technology we’re living in and the way in which we all crave technology and technological advancements in what is, a digital world. It also highlights the way in which everything is seemingly getting smaller.
Compact, digital showrooms, simply require less space which will mean that plots of land where there was previously one large showroom could now potentially be turned into several different showrooms all selling different brands. From an economic point of view, it makes great sense!
What about from a customer’s point of view?
As a customer buying a brand new car, whilst this digital showroom sounds like a fantastic idea, it has the danger of providing a rather flat experience. When buying a new car, especially an expensive one with a high motor insurance premium, it’s nice to sit in the car and actually feel the interior of it around you. Even simple things like that new car smell are traditional factors of showrooms that could potentially be lost.
Furthermore, it may sound ridiculous, but when buying a new car, it’s nice to run your hands over the steering wheel and to even test the way in which the door shuts – that clunky sound a door makes can be reassuring.
The danger with Audi’s new digital showroom is that a potential customer may be reluctant to buy something they’ve only ever experienced on a screen.
Audi hope to have 20 city-centre stores open worldwide by 2015.