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Hyundai opens UK’s first digital-led car showroom

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Hyundai UK today opens what it says is the UK’s first digital-first car showroom, where shoppers browse and buy primarily via screens rather than asking a sales person for help.

From the open-plan Bluewater shop, customers can inspect up to three new Hyundai cars and use twelve large tablet screens to access the Rockar Hyundai online platform, The Rockar concept enables customers to buy their car over the internet – without ever talking to a sales person.

“Digital showrooms in shopping centres will dramatically increase casual researchers,” said Rockar founder Simon Dixon. “People who’d never consciously make a decision to travel to out of town dealerships can now stop in and buy a car, and have it serviced, in between buying groceries, visiting the cinema or lunching with friends.”

Dixon said Rockar’s research showed almost 40% of Britons were more likely to buy a car if they could avoid talking to sales staff, while almost half would be more likely to do so if it was “as easy as buying clothes, food and gadgets.” The Rockar Angels who staff the shop are employed as product experts on the cars and the Rockar technology, and will point customers towards using the technology to make purchase decisions. None have previously worked in a car dealership and all are paid a salary rather than commission. operates on desktop and laptop computers as well as on mobile devices and was built and designed by Summit. Users put in factors including their current car, their budget, mileage, financing options and the time period over which they’d like to buy. The system generates a list of potential cars, which the shoppers can adjust for variables such as colour, fuel type and transmission to come up with final costs before arranging a test drive or paying online.

Ben Latham, head of digital strategy at Summit, said: “The key technical challenge was integrating information from three key groups – car manufacturers, valuation companies and finance houses – and dynamically displaying the results in real-time as customers change the variables. It ended up being one of the most complex systems ever built on the Magento platform.”

Tony Whitehorn, president and chief executive of Hyundai Motor UK, said: “Rockar Hyundai is exciting and innovative. It utilises the latest technologies to make life easier for car buyers. Traditional car dealerships will always have a vital role to play in the car buying and ownership experience. However, this online and in-store option gives customers another choice to fit around their busy lives.”

Design consultants Daziel & Pow were responsible for brand and design.

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