…thanks Yogi Berra for the gift of a headline for this post.

The featured image, captured from Street View, shows one of the UK’s dwindling number of original car dealership operating models – where purchase, service and everyday running are all available under one canopy. Here’s another, and they usually sport a small market town location:

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 08.13.35

It’s a retail format that worked well for the best part of a century, and one that leaves me with a strange sense of deja vu. Here’s why.

When BMW opened their new flagship site, what was striking was the familiarity of it: a forecourt, canopies, workshops and fuel – but this time in the form of EV charging points for customer’s cars (and I guess, visitors also), as well as those on display inside for domestic fitting.

So here’s the question. Could the growth of EV’s lead us back to a future, where the role of a dealership is toward the entire life-cycle of the car – sale, service and everyday use?

My guess is it’s pretty likely – and important to consider – for at least some dimensions of a network’s representation plan: edge of town, large-scale sites with plenty of parking and plenty of customers living in the new, denser, property developments that occupy the edges of a central urban district.

Oh, and while we’re fueling the conversation, those canopies? They’re all solar-paneled on top, right?

 

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About Richard Hill

Creative director, writer, designer, illustrator based in the UK with global project experience and consulting skills across sectors.

Latest Posts By Richard Hill

Category

Architecture, automotive, Design, EV / alt-fuel, Experiences, Re-thinking, Retail, strategy

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