Time to move from dealer networks to networked dealerships?

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The thing with the way established industries operate are the frameworks or structures they subject themselves – and us – to.

Frameworks, practices and policies that result in physical forms and formats that last generations, while not always effectively for the generations’ they find themselves trying to appeal to.

Take the car dealership, as a for-example. Plenty of good reasons why they are the shape they are, where they are, how they work – and plenty of challenges in delivering a good experience as a result – hence the constant fallback in average dealer-visits over the last decade.

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Of course there are many other factors, not the least of which is economic and technological. But with today’s positive UK car sales stats (and the dramatic rise in sales and confidence, at least in some segments) the means of getting to the customer – rather than expecting them to beat a path to the dealers door – is now being grasped. And it does beg the question about whether ‘dealership networks’ should rather think about themselves as ‘networked dealerships’ instead.

Recently we’ve seen video guided tours of used cars by one Renault dealer. In this case, a neat link via e-mail to a microsite hosting a personalised video walk-around of the actual car the interested buyer called-up about. The buyer was in the South East, the car in Scotland. How about that for a local service? Better still, how about that for a ‘networked dealership’?

Here’s another, far more visually sophisticated version:

Fiat Brazil Brings The Dealership To Your Home With Live Store

Perhaps it’s time to think about your network representation plans….