Audi Rings Changes in Retail Concept and Technology

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Audi drivers are often considered as technophiles so it's pioneering a virtual showroom in major cities around the world beginning with London.

Audi City: London venue is first of new global technology sales network delivering better owner and user experiences

Looking at automotive retail for the future and complementing its dealer network will be a new format called Audi City.

The first location is close to Piccadilly Circus where 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 commission 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.

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.”

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.

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Conrad Swailes
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