Bluewater Rockar

Car buying finally joins the 21st Century

For years the process of buying a car, and where you purchase it, has not really changed. But finally an automotive manufacturer has taken the plunge and created a modern system to buying a car. Hyundai have now opened not so much a dealership but more a retail experience at the sprawling Bluewater shopping centre in Kent.

It’s no surprise really that the manufacturer who has created the new ‘showroom’ is from the tech savvy and retail obsessed nation of South Korea. While many European and North American automotive companies have updated and embraced the car buying experience online, few have really embraced offline the change in shopping habits that the internet has brought to consumers and motorists. Out of town car dealerships still dominate the industry, with traditional selling and marketing techniques as part of the package. This would not necessarily be a problem if the nation’s car buying habits had remained the same but people are increasingly less interested in cars.

The new ‘showroom’ is almost an Apple shop style experience. No salesman pestering customers but ‘angels’ who are simply there to provide information and support, not secure a commission. Large touchscreens and video walls replace pot plants and desks and you can still arrange a test drive or a service.

The old school petrolhead is a dying breed and so innovations like this are vital to engage with modern consumers who are apathetic towards both cars and motoring. But what does this mean from a PR and marketing view? Car dealerships must embrace a similar change in their PR and marketing tactics, less of a hard sell with interesting, content driven PR and marketing combined with better customer service.

Quality content will become increasingly important to motor manufacturers and car dealers. Traditional advertising is more and more being viewed in a cynical manner by consumers, so those who are not interested in, or lack good knowledge about cars will look for informative PR stories to help them make their next purchase.

Dealers that combine a new shopping experience with a creative marketing approach may well be those who are most successful in attracting a new generation of customers.

To find out how Red Marlin could help support a change of direction for your dealership call us on 01926 832395 or email

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