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Croatia, UK, Mars - are all dealerships the same?

There are ever-increasing corporate identity standards implemented in car dealerships. Every time I visit a dealer, particularly on a small site, fears about major investment for renovation or relocation due to new standards are voiced.

So what room does this leave for creativity and familiarity? Are family-run showrooms, far away from the glass glossiness of PLCs, bad for sales?

On a recent trip to Croatia, there was an abundance of dealerships – in a week’s trip, I spotted VW, Mazda, Jaguar, Skoda, Seat and Ford showrooms.

But in a country ever so different in culture and landscape from the UK, these sites looked very familiar.

Had I teleported home without realising? No. It was just that the car showrooms looked almost identical in all their standardised stone-faced glory to the ones in our fair isles.

Ok, it means I recognise the brand. Worldwide, I can say, aha there’s Ford (for example). But so familiar are we with carmakers’ logos, I believe this can be enough, without making carbon copy showrooms.

Can these standards, albeit with their benefits (for example, more space for a wider range of cars for customers to choose from), equate to strong sales?

Is not the slightly quirky showroom, often associated with long-running family-owned businesses, more appealing to many a buyer? Let me know your thoughts.
 

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