Adios Dealerships? Audi City Opens in London, Full Audi Lineup Available Digitally

By Trevor Dorchies | July 16, 2012
Starting today, Audi will be giving potential customers the chance to digitally customize a vehicle and view it in realistic fashion. The new store, named Audi City, opened its doors today in London, England where potential customers can configure their next vehicle. At each store, Audi's full lineup will be available for viewing and customized with over 700 million possible configurations. Technological aspects like how the drivetrain, bodyshell, and LEDs work can be explained by Audi City employees who will be on hand. Customers, after designing a vehicle, can view it at a 1:1 scale on screens that span almost the entire store. Audi promises that every color, option, and feature can be viewed in-store. Audi customers will be assigned to a Customer Relationship Manager who will be the main point of contact throughout ownership of the vehicle. The CRM will streamline the buying process and will help customers from the initial sale and continuing through the duration of the vehicle's ownership. Audi City is also directly connected to the Audi AG dealership network making it easy for customers to schedule appointments no matter where they live.
“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,” said Peter Schwarzenbauer, member of the Board of Management for Marketing and Sales at AUDI AG in a statement. “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.” Besides being a point of entry into buying a vehicle from Audi, the German automaker plans to have its new stores pull double-duty. Audi City is also intended to be a meeting place for those loyal to the German automaker. There, fans can discuss all things Audi but the new stores also acting as a place where people can discuss issues outside of the automotive world. Audi City will also be a platform for debating other issues other than those concerning the automotive world such as urban development and mobility, art, culture, and design. In addition to the London store, more than 20 more stores will spring up around the world before 2015. Stay tuned for more details on locations of more Audi City stores as they become available. What do you think? Should more automakers begin opening stores where you can digitally view a vehicle without the hassle of shopping at an actual dealership? Tell us what you think in the comment section below.

Source: Audi