Are Car Dealerships The New Hang-Out?

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams

Want to attract buyers to your dealership? Diversify. No, we're not talking about offering several car brands. We're looking at dealerships with a restaurant, boutique, gym and/or spa attached. The New York Times reports on the trend, including a Bentley dealership that's building a V.I.P lounge for their top 250 customers, replete with private wine lockers and humidors. (They also rent out their showroom for weddings and social events.) The pomp and pampering don't carry much weight with some customers. As one BMW customer put it, "It's more for show. If you don't get good service, it doesn't matter what amenities you have." Yes, well, think of the possibilities should this trend filter down to the mainstream brands: McDonalds in Chevy dealerships, Victoria's Secret lingerie shows in Ford stores (might as well), and assisted living condos attached to Buick stores.

Frank Williams
Frank Williams

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  • Geotpf Geotpf on Oct 08, 2007

    Longo Toyota in El Monte (east of Downtown Los Angeles) has, amoungst other things, a Subway and a Starbucks. Of course, it's the largest car dealership on the planet, so...

  • AGR AGR on Oct 08, 2007

    For some reason manufacturers and dealers want to turn their "selling/servicing points" into destinations, with cafes, restaurants, spas, and on and on. The customers that are the users of these facilities, want to get in and out in a very eficient fashion. Lingering or spending time in a dealership is not one their priorities. Especially the publicly owned/ part of a dealer group dealerships run by professional managers that are in it for themselves, and pay lip service to customers, out of a glass palace. Increasingly most folks are getting all their information "online" from manufacturers web sites, then visiting dealers "online". Are they subtlely admitting that dealers are inexorably being disintermediated, and being increasingly displaced by Web 2.0.

  • Mud Mud on Oct 08, 2007

    I think that a circus backdrop would be more appropriate for many dealerships.

  • Johnster Johnster on Oct 08, 2007

    Reminds me of the "Horseless Carriage Restaurant" on the Galpin Ford dealership in North Hills, Califoria in the San Fernando Valley where the menu features "Mustang Burgers" and "Explorer Burgers". In spite of the attempts to provide an "upscale dining experience" it still comes off about the same as a "Denny's" IMHO.