The good 'ol days of kicking tires and knocking on the dashboard plastics may soon be a thing of the past when it comes to Audi and its retail stores in the crowded centers of large cities.
The creative minds in Ingolstadt have come up with a new format for their showrooms in the heart of major international metropolises. In these stores, which are called "Audi City", the brand's entire lineup is presented fully digitally in a compact space.
The first Audi City opened its doors today in London close to Piccadilly Circus with the German carmaker promising to launch more than 20 stores worldwide by the end of 2015.
"Audi City combines the best of two worlds – digital product presentation and personal contact with the dealer,” says Peter Schwarzenbauer, Audi board member. "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."
Audi says that the latest media technology will allow visitors to take a virtual look at the company's lineup as well as all the colors, equipment options and functions in their entirety, allowing customers to digitally select their vehicle from several hundred million possible configurations and experience it in realistic 1:1 scale on screens that almost fill up the entire space.
Much like BMW's "i" stores, Audi notes that these retail shops will also play a crucial role role in the marketing of new mobility services and electric-drive models.