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Rockar boss: car retailing falls behind in digital transformation of retailing

Simon Dixon

Simon Dixon will tell the Rockar ‘story’ when he opens this year’s AM Digital Dealer conference which takes place at Whittlebury Hall Hotel, near Silvestone, Northamptonshire on September 6.

The Rockar chief executive, whose experience included building Dixon Motors to be one of the largest groups in the UK before selling it the Royal Bank of Scotland in 2004, said: “It was the 10 years out of the industry that were the most informative and drove me to want to come back in and turn car buying on its head.”

Dixon (pictured) spent two years developing their digital platform that would be at the heart of the business before opening Rockar’s first store in November 2014 at Bluewater shopping centre where it became one of the largest Hyundai retailers in the country within weeks.

“The industry is too focussed on enforcing old processes which would be rejected by the customer in any other retail business.  Transformation towards digital has happened in just about every other aspect of our lives apart from cars.

“The key element of the Rockar platform is transparency; offering the customer as much information as possible to be able to make the right car purchase for them. 

“We are driven by the consumer experience and have collected key data over the last two years to consistently improve and enhance our digital platform in line with what our customers want.”

As well as some of his experiences throughout the process of establishing the business including opening a second store at Stratford’s Westfield shopping centre, Dixon will share some of the insights which the company’s data reveals about its customers’ buying behaviour.

Dixon said: “The Rockar stores are an important part of the experience, giving customers somewhere to go and view the cars. 

“The purpose of the store is to empower the customer with knowledge, provide a location that is easy to get to and an environment that has more in common with their usual shopping experience. 

“Most customers who visit a store go away with the information they need to then complete their purchase online back at home.”

As well as the digital experience and customer expectations, Dixon will talk about why the right people make the difference. The company employs ‘Rockar Angels’, who are there to offer information and enhance the buying experience rather than undertaking a traditional sales role.  The Angels come from a variety of backgrounds but none from car sales.


AM Digital Dealer Conference


Tickets are available to dealers and manufacturers, with a limited number of supplier tickets on sale. To book, please contact Paige Phillips on 01733 395133, email or visit the AM Digital Dealer Conference website.  


Whittlebury Hall Hotel NN12 8QH

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