Lexus: You Can Check in Any Time You Like…
"We're trying to create a feeling in our car dealerships more of a luxury hotel than a car dealership." This according to Lexus NA GM Mark Templin, speaking at the Automotive News [AN, sub] "world congress" (information without representation!). Templin encouraged U.S. Lexus dealers to offer the brand's customers enough upmarket creature comforts that they'll want to "hang out" down at the dealership, quaff a latte, check their emails, buy a car or something. Templin highlighted other advancements in the famous Lexus dealer experience, upon which its 178 purveyors (in 224 outlets) spent a cool billion bucks over the last three years. "They are making their Web sites more interactive," AN breathlessly reported. "Including virtual tours of the dealerships, their vehicles and even staffs." A virtual tour of a staff member? Whoa. That's taking the whole customer relationship deal a bit far, methinks.
Yeah right I'm going to spend Friday night hanging out at the Lexus dealership -- it's all free cappuccinos and pastries until they check my credit score ... then suddenly it's "loitering".
Well no to Friday night, but yes to Sat morning. One thing you could do to get the goodies without the cost is to buy used. I didn't plan it this way but I bought a used non-Lexus from the local Lexus dealer which I had to have serviced elsewhere anyway. But it still entitled me to the free car wash, coffee, etc. These freebies are not high in monetary value but they sure work on people's desire for free stuff. You should have seen the rush one day when they wheeled out an omelette making station. These elderly women practically ran me over.
I hate pretense. I'd rather go to a Toyota dealer... even though I find those repellant too due to their wall-to-wall smugness. We'll see how many latte-sniffing yahoos populate these places during the upcoming "economic adjustment". Just having a car that runs may be enough for most folks.