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Ridgeway Oxford Audi: keeping the focus on people, not technology

Matschy now has space for 96 approved used cars, 100 public spaces and 50 for staff. A larger display area allows him to sell about 70 used cars a month, up from 40 at the previous site.


For Oxford Audi, visibility was key

Visibility was also key. Oxford Audi sits at the very eastern side of Oxford Business Park North, with drivers on the eastern bypass able to look down on the car park and showroom – and nearly eye-to-eye with anyone on its first floor.

“People that buy Audis are seen as enjoying eating at the best restaurants and staying at the best hotels, ones that provide a premium feel. Our centre is contemporary, boutique-like – it doesn’t feel like a traditional showroom.”

All visitors are met by a concierge – the official title is customer host. If you had an appointment, they welcome you by name, take you inside and hand you over to another member of staff who gets you a drink, makes you comfortable and then introduces you to a service adviser or sales executive.

Visitors do not get pointed to where they want to be, they are taken. Matschy describes this process as “breaking up the site”: “A big dealership can be really intimidating and I don’t like people walking around not really knowing who to talk to; it’s not good practice. Instead, we have a more personal service.”

There are chairs for three service advisers. Six sales executives sit behind desks. Facilities include a 17-car display, private customer lounge, Audi merchandising shop, complimentary iPad use, alongside free Wi-Fi, valet parking, on-demand video for sales and service, car charging points and, from November, a touchscreen car configurator wall. Scattered throughout are hard-backed chairs, soft chairs and bar stools.

It is the first Audi centre to use iPads as a showroom tool, following fellow VAG brand Volkswagen, which introduced them two years ago. Until the arrival of the touchscreen system – a version of which is already in use at Audi City, the brand’s most technologically advanced centre, in Piccadilly – customers and sales staff use iPads to configure cars. By the end of the year, Matschy hopes to be able to take people into a private customer lounge to make their choices on the large configurator.

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