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 www.rockar.com to complete a purchase online later.
Simon Dixon, founder of Rockar.com, 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.”