Mitsubishi has now opened its first car sales retail store in the UK at Intu Lakeside shopping centre.
The car brand believes the development of the new store concept, which AM understands is the first of potentially 14 such outlets in the longer term, complements Mitsubishi Motors’ traditional dealer network and its Buy Online facility.
The store has been designed by retail design agency, Dalziel & Pow. It said fixtures and fittings have been chosen to reflect the bold, adventurous nature of the SUV-focused brand with the 1,281 sq ft of space split into experience zones.
Intu Lakeside is the major retail and leisure destination in the south east of England, welcoming 20 million customers each year, with work underway on a 175,000 sq ft leisure extension.
The store also represents a further evolution in Mitsubishi Motors’ relationship with automotive retail specialists Rockar, with whom they have collaborated closely throughout the project.
In addition to a number of Mitsubishi Motors models, the store will feature interactive digital displays and inviting analogue content that encourages customers to discover more about the manufacturer and the advanced features of its vehicles.
Rob Lindley, managing director, Mitsubishi Motors in the UK, said: “With the opening of our first Mitsubishi store in such a prominent and well-established retail location, we are putting the customer at the very centre of what we do by offering them more choice than ever before in how and where to purchase their new Mitsubishi.
“The store’s design perfectly conveys the bold, adventurous nature of the Mitsubishi brand and we’re delighted to partner with Intu and Dalziel & Pow to create a platform that enhances our retail operation and will attract a whole new audience to our brand.”
This opening is the latest in a trend for car brands keen to get products in front of consumers away from traditional showrooms. Hyundai, Seat, DS Automobiles, Jaguar Land Rover and Ford are already testing the concept.
Although they generate sales, industry observers generally view such stores currently as a marketing channel and test-bed for future online new car sales, due to the high rents involved and the significant financial support that carmakers put behind them.