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Digital dealership Rockar Hyundai opens its doors to the public

Hyundai Motor Group and digital retailer Rockar opened its doors today to the world’s first digital automotive retail experience.
Situated in Bluewater shopping centre, Kent, Rockar Hyundai aims to be a completely new approach to buying a new car.
Without the ‘hassle’ of sales staff, but staffed by knowledgeable ‘Rockar angels’, visitors are able to research, test-drive and part-exchange their old car and purchase a new Hyundai – with cash or various finance packages. And, if a consumer decides they need more time, save their details and login at to complete a purchase online later.
Simon Dixon, founder of, has been involved in automotive retail for 20 years. Dixon said: “We have created a very easy, hassle-free way of buying a car which is completely transparent to the customer so they know what they’re getting and how much they’re paying.
“Our used cars go straight to auction so when a customer enters their part exchange details into our system it will refer to GAP and Glass's to get the best price for that customer.
“Our margins are very similar to a franchised dealer. The only thing we don’t do is sell add-ons such as GAP, insurance products or paint protection. We do offer service plans and small additions like mats."
President and chief executive at Hyundai Motor UK Tony Whitehorn said: “Historically, I have always thought buying a car is the second most expensive thing you’ll ever do, but in actual fact it’s not. Two doors down from this site you will buy a mobile phone for £100 a month and think nothing of it. Showing the 27 million footfall at Bluewater our cars with £137 a month on a screen will really make them think.
“Not only can customers purchase a new car while doing their shopping, they can also get their car serviced with us, and that’s any car, not just an Hyundai.
“Rockar has a dealer contract and a lease of 10 years, which is a real testament to its commitment.”
Whitehorn told AM that he doesn’t expect this to be the "next big thing", but expects that Hyundai’s more traditional dealers will take things from this and roll them out in their showrooms.
“Dealers I’ve spoken to are not frightened by it; they’re intrigued by it,” Whitehorn said. “This is an exciting step for us in the digital world. Don’t get me wrong, there will be people who still want to haggle and be sat in front of a sales person, but this is another option for buyers who want something different.”

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  • gezza06 - 07/11/2014 13:32

    If their margins are similar to dealers, it will be interesting to see how much profit is made without selling add-ons!! Not quite sure how the mobile phone comparison is much deposit do you put down on a mobile? With enough deposit you can get £137 pm on almost any car!!

  • Anthony the Midget - 07/11/2014 13:35

    An interesting concept indeed! Whilst I can understand consumers using the interweb to research information on cars, I am not convinced that the UK public is ready to abandon dealership showrooms in significant numbers and actually buy new cars online - despite some of the shortcomings of the traditional dealership business model. I will be following the success (or demise) of Rockar with great interest!

  • ICEAGE - 07/11/2014 13:35

    This is not the future it is just an expensive advert

  • RTR - 07/11/2014 13:43

    Good luck with that...

  • Jim Davies - 07/11/2014 13:57

    Does anyone remember Daewoo?

    • Anthony the Midget - 07/11/2014 14:09

      @Jim Davies - That was a long time ago and the interweb has moved on big time since then. But, just as Daewoo did, I notice that they have taken to slagging off the traditional dealer model on their website. They certainly won't be gaining any friends within the industry with tactics like that!

  • Stuart C - 10/11/2014 09:49

    I think you may actually find that Audi City London was in fact "the world’s first digital automotive retail experience" and it opened before the 2012 London Olympics. So not sure that claim is viable, maybe first digital retail experience in Blue Water!