First Audi City cyberstore opens its doors

Article by Christian A., on July 16, 2012

Audi is getting set for car retail soon and making a suitable vehicle for its dealer network-- the Audi City. The first spot opens today in the UK near the Piccadilly Circus. The brand's whole roster is digitally displayed in a small area. The good use of space through this method enables the four rings to be seen in the center of top international cities. For the coming years, Audi will land a spot on more of these beautiful locations, launching 20 more showrooms all over the world by 2015. Soon, Audi City will also play a vital role in the marketability of mobile services and electric models of the Audi.

Member of the Board of Management for Marketing and Sales at AUDI AG Peter Schwarzenbauer said that Audi City is a mix of two perfect worlds - digital product showcase and personal interaction with the dealer. This latest retail method reaches clients effectively – mainly because they are gathered on a specific location but more importantly, relationally. Audi City provides new options for customization and a more personalized contact with the client.

Thanks to innovative media, the car manufacturer now has the capacity not only to reveal its expanding roster - complete with all colors, equipment functions and options - but also to give clients the opportunity to witness its full range. Clients can digitally choose their car from almost a hundred million options and experience it in an actual 1:1 scale on monitors that almost eat up the entire area. Furthermore, technical elements like the exterior surface, drivetrain, or LED light technology can be shown in part to make upgrades easily understandable.

Because of the Audi City, the prime car manufacturer is trying to meet the evolving needs of its clients. Schwarzenbauer explains that people are giving more importance on a straight and personal relationship with their car brand - most especially in terms of the increasing number of products and information available to them. So with Audi City, they are creating a store where everything is there already. It mirrors the daily requirements of the client, and is smoothly interconnected to the marketing strategy given by the four rings.

This assurance is given specifically by the Customer Relationship Manager, who will be assigned in every Audi City location. This person will be the client's main and will serve as a constant point of contact for everything he needs - from the primary consultation, to the sale, to the maintenance services. Also, each Audi City is linked to an Audi dealership that gives the full array of AUDI AG services whenever needed.

Because of the face to face customer interaction and the availability of personal services, Audi City defines the right execution of the retail car experience. To make everything calibrated, AUDI AG gives staff training aimed to be used particularly at these city stores. The company also supports the dealer in their choice of employees and additional training. Moreover, trainers have a wide educational background - as IT experts, for example, who meet the requirements of explaining Audi City's digital world.

Their urban location makes every Audi City a lot more than a retail car store. Audi City will also grow into a hub for fans of Audi, where they can interact with the environment of the four rings should they choose to. The outlets will also be utilized as a meeting place for concerns not related to the auto business. For instance, after the closing hours, they will conduct round-table discussions, readings and exhibitions on things such as improvement and mobility of stuff related to design, arts and culture.

Press Release

Audi City: the metropolis cyberstore opens its doors

Audi is preparing automotive retail for the future and complementing its dealer network with a new format – Audi City. The first location opens today in London close to Piccadilly Circus. The brand’s entire model line-up is presented fully digitally in a compact space. The efficient use of space facilitated by this approach allows the four rings to be present in the heart of major international cities. Over the next few years, Audi will secure more of these attractive locations, opening more than 20 stores worldwide by 2015. In future, Audi City will also play a crucial role in the marketing of new mobility services and electric-drive Audi models.

“Audi City combines the best of two worlds – digital product presentation and personal contact with the dealer,” says Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management for Marketing and Sales at AUDI AG. “This new retail format brings us even closer to our customers – geographically, of course, but first and foremost in terms of the quality of our relationship. Audi City offers new freedom for tailor-made services and an even more individual contact with the customer.”

Thanks to groundbreaking media technology, the vehicle manufacturer now has the ability not only to present its growing model line-up – including all colours, equipment options and functions – in its entirety, but also to offer customers the chance to experience the sheer breadth of the range in full. Visitors can digitally select their vehicle from several hundred million possible configurations and experience it in realistic 1:1 scale on screens that almost fill the entire space. Moreover, technical details such as the drivetrain, bodyshell or LED light technology can be presented individually in order to make innovations understandable on an intuitive level.

With Audi City, the premium manufacturer is responding to customers’ changing needs. “People are placing greater emphasis than ever before on a direct and personal bond of trust with their vehicle brand – especially in respect of the increasing variety of products and available information,” explains Schwarzenbauer. “Thus, with Audi City, we are creating a one-stop-shop for experiencing our brand. It is right in the midst of our customers’ lives, yet seamlessly connected to the online range offered by the four rings.”

This is particularly assured by the Customer Relationship Manager, who will be deployed in future at Audi City locations. This individual will be the customer’s central and consistent point of contact for all needs – from the first consultation to after-sales and ongoing services. Plus, every Audi City is also connected to an Audi dealership that provides the entire spectrum of AUDI AG services as a single-point centre of competence.

With this highly personalized customer dialogue and the provision of individual services, Audi City represents a substantial expansion of the retail experience. In support of this, AUDI AG offers employee training targeted specifically at these urban stores and also supports the dealer in their selection and further training. Furthermore, employees increasingly have a more broad-based educational background – as IT experts, for instance, who are qualified to explain the digital world of Audi City.

Their central urban location makes each Audi City more than simply an additional retail outlet. Audi City will also evolve into a meeting place for fans of the brand, where they can make contact with the world of the four rings whenever they want. The stores will also be used as a dialogue forum for issues outside of core automotive business. For example, following close of daily business, they will play host to readings, round-table discussions and exhibitions on issues such as urban development and mobility or on matters relating to art, culture and design.

Topics: audi, showroom

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