From April, Hyundai will take over its two branded shopping centre stores currently run by Rockar and hand the running of them over to local dealer group Motorline.
The two stores, at Bluewater and London’s Stratford-based Westfield centre, will continue to be staffed by ‘angels’ who are only there to offer information and assistance and do not earn commission on car sales.
The Rockar partnership aimed to deliver a better customer experience, and the company’s founder Simon Dixon stated: “It has brought in new customers - younger people, more women and people who’ve never bought a new car.”
For Hyundai, the biggest achievement has been the expansion of brand awareness, it said; nearly one million people have visited one of the shops since they opened in 2012.
However, Hyundai’s research has shown that 95% of people buying cars from a Rockar outlet live less than 10 miles from the store, so Tony Whitehorn, president and CEO of Hyundai UK, said: “It makes the most sense for the stores to be operated by local dealers."
Online buying roll-out
Alongside taking the shopping centre stores in-house, from April Hyundai also aims to expand its online buying portal Click to Buy across its entire model range and its whole dealer network.
Click to Buy was the first totally online car buying offering when it launched in 2016. Since then, more than 500,000 people have visited its website, 50,000 people have completed part-exchange vehicle valuations, 500 have made finance applications and 80 vehicles have been sold.
Although Whitehorn believes Click to Buy has been a success, he admitted it has limitations: “It only has a limited product range of around 20 price-pointed vehicles, so it may not offer the particular model or trim level a customer wants to buy.
“So, from April, all Hyundai models and retailers will be online. From then, dealers will be able to offer cars for sale online, setting the level of discount they want. This will enable customers to compare the prices of cars between dealerships online instead of by visiting showrooms.”
The Click to Buy service can also be used in showrooms to provide a haggle-free buying experience.
Hyundai has also ramped up its online aftersales service, enabling customers to book a car for a service in 10 seconds and six clicks. Customers are updated on the progress of the service by email or text and sent video or photos of relevant parts. Nearly 30% of people are using the online booking service and 30% of those are using it out of normal office hours.