Volkswagen dealers in the UK will now have access to iPads and a new range of online tools to make sure the buying process stays relevant as the vast majority of car shoppers now start their journey online.
VW believes the changes will close the gap between the on- and off-line worlds, offering buyers the same experience in a retailer as they would find on the Volkswagen website.
The changes also mean there will could be less focus on dealers having to display every vehicle in the showroom.
Rod McLeod, Volkswagen UK’s head of marketing, said: “We have an incredibly large and diverse model range, from the Up city car to the Phaeton saloon, and it’s simply not possible to display all these vehicles – even in a large showroom.
“Using new technology allows dealer staff to bring the range to life, giving great representations of colours, interior trims and alloy wheels for example, and this is a really useful tool in the buying process – for customers and sales people alike.”
The digital showroom gives customers the opportunity to create their car from the manufacturer’s range and also allows them to watch video clips of new technologies. Customers can use the iPads to explore the range on their own or with a sales executive.
McLeod said: “Digital advances are taking place at an incredible rate and we need to keep up.
“But we don’t want to do this at the expense of personal interactions, which is why we’re not only developing our online presence but also trying to bring the digital and real worlds closer together.
“As soon as people come into our showrooms we want them to feel that they’re in familiar surroundings.
“We’re trying to make the experience as seamless, easy and enjoyable as possible and we’re looking forward to making more changes in future.”
VW Group brand Audi is also undertaking a "strategic digital review" to investigate what a completely user-centric Audi online experience would look like.