The pandemic has brought about many changes in our day-to-day lives, with one of these being the transition to ecommerce. In nearly every sector of the retail industry there has been a marked acceleration in the digital shopping space, with the car industry not proving immune to the trend either.
Over recent months, new car buyers - many of you no doubt - have been able to research online and then proceed to negotiations online or over the phone. Whereas that process was once restricted to a face-to-face affair, there is an increasing level of digitisation in the process, allowing for more flexibility.
How will dealers drive a return to the showroom?
The next change that is set to arrive, however, tries to tackle the matter of the physical showroom itself.
One of Australia's largest car dealer groups - responsible for 1 in 10 new cars sold across the country - is set to start selling new cars from airports and shopping centres, in a move that they hope will shift the landscape on its head and bring an increasing number of customers back to the showroom.
There is a bit of a twist on the format, as well.
While your traditional showroom is affiliated to just one brand, this showroom is set to be more like a motorshow-style display suite. As such, it'll feature an assortment of different brands in one place, with dealer and finance representatives of each brand on site to discuss options or talk things through with new car buyers.
There will also be vehicle servicing accessible at those shopping centres, allowing motorists to have their car serviced while they shop for their weekly groceries or whatnot.
The first of these showrooms, set for release later this year in December in Indooroopilly, Brisbane, will have a number of popular brands showcasing as many as 35 car models from the one location.
It's a promising option for new car motorists who want to see a range of different models from different brands in one convenient location. This is particularly beneficial where you have already managed to strike up a shortlist that features any number of the vehicles that will be stocked. And since the showrooms will be limited to mainstream brands, and their most-popular models, it is sure to strike a chord and resonate with many new car buyers.
Similarly, it'll only be a matter of time until airports move in the same direction, stocking multiple brands out of one dealership, as opposed to existing sites near airports where there is a limited presence for just a couple of lucky brands.
What do you think of these future moves? Could you see yourself going shopping for a car at your local shopping centre some time in the future?