The November issue of AM - Automotive Management is out now (scroll down for a preview).
Carmakers seem convinced that requiring their franchised networks to invest in a freshly built property, or at least a new showroom style, every six to 10 years, is a reasonable expectation (despite fewer than one in three dealers thinking refreshing showrooms increases sales, according to an AM poll). Manufacturers feel this is a great way to maintain a brand experience that will draw in new customers and keep existing ones, some of whom may have changed their car just twice since the previous corporate identity was brought in.
Carmakers’ latest focus seems to be on building ‘theatre’ into the showroom experience, with interactive technology that they hope will make it more compelling, or even more entertaining, to visit a dealership.
But isn’t this simply evolution? Aren’t the technology bars, touchscreen configurators and plush coffee lounges the new equivalent of the sales desks, children’s play areas and vending machines of old?
The revolution could come on the digital side of motor retail. Hyundai is already trialling a new way and the view from the AM Digital Dealer Conference is that motor retail’s shop windows are now online. Our dealership design feature suggests considering a cautious approach to solus showroom investment in future.
♦ AM has welcomed a new member to its editorial team. Senior reporter Danielle Bagnall (Danielle.Bagnall@bauermedia.co.uk; @DanniBagnall) was formerly social media account manager for Vertu Motors and has written for Motors.co.uk, Golf+, Total BMW and Fast Car.
Elsewhere in the November 2014 issue of AM - Automotive Management
♦ CAP's Philip Nothard suggests dealers follow monthly new car registration figures to work out what used cars to stock.
♦ Professor Jim Saker warns dealers and manufacturers against embarking on huge showroom redesigns without first making sure the fundamentals are in place.
Also: Michael Edwards Group, the most successful MG dealer in the UK, illustrates the benefits of a low-tech approach; Ridgeway Oxford Audi head of business Alex Matschy on keeping a focus on people in his sparkling, new ‘terminal’ site; and Tim Rose reports from the Paris Motor Show on the key new models and relaunches showcased at this year’s event.
Coming up in the December 2014 'used cars' issue of AM - Automotive Management
We go face to face with Macrae & Dick managing director Andrew Grzesinski; what the future holds for used car departments; and coverage of the AM Used Car Market Conference. Plus, the Škoda Fabia reviewed.