Audi has opened a high street store designed to digitally showcase the premium brand's car range.
Branded Audi City, the store near London's Picadilly Circus is the first of more than 20 similar sites to be opened globally by 2015, said the German carmaker.
The store presents the entire model range via vast digital displays.
It comes soon after Fiat began a similar concept with its Fiat Click store in Birmingham.
“Audi City combines the best of two worlds – digital product presentation and personal contact with the dealer,” said Peter Schwarzenbauer, member of the board of management for marketing and sales at Audi AG.
“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.”
Customer relationship managers at Audi City locations will be the customer’s central and consistent point of contact for all needs – from the first consultation to after-sales and ongoing services.
Plus, every Audi City is also connected to an Audi dealership that provides the entire spectrum of Audi AG services as a single-point centre of competence.
The carmaker said this highly personalized customer dialogue and the provision of individual services represents a substantial expansion of the retail experience. In support of this, Audi offers employee training targeted specifically at these urban stores and also supports the dealer in their selection and further training. Furthermore, employees increasingly have a more broad-based educational background – as IT experts, for instance, who are qualified to explain the digital world of Audi City.
Audi wants each Audi City to be more than simply an additional retail outlet, evolving into a meeting place for fans of the brand, where they can make contact with the world of the four rings whenever they want. It said the stores will also be used as a dialogue forum for issues outside of core automotive business, for example, following close of daily business, they will play host to readings, round-table discussions and exhibitions on issues such as urban development and mobility or on matters relating to art, culture and design.