In a daring and futuristic move, French carmaker Renault has decided to open a new kind of showroom – one with no cars in it. Renault is joining hands with TVS & Sons, the parent company of TVS Group and the folks who thought of this ambitious idea. Renault will be the first carmaker to take this virtual world plunge and how it will turn out for Renault is anyone’s guess. The logic behind this digital showroom is simple. The prospective Renault customers will make their way to the showroom, and instead of looking at actual physical cars, they will be welcomed to go through every detail of their choice of car on a digital screen.
Virtual mediums have proven to be great for information acquisition.
Many of us buy items online and the overall experience is usually good. No faffing about in an actual store, instead, sit at home and order while you sip on some tea or coffee. However, though we like ordering clothes and electronics online, many of us (at least in India), prefer going to actual car showrooms before making our purchase. But in this case, the idea is that you will go to a Renault showroom, but will then spend time watching stuff on a digital screen which will give you all the information that you may need before you buy the actual car. One of the primary reasons for any carmaker to opt for this method of sales is to reduce their overheads and going online is a sureshot way to lower costs, if executed correctly.
Renault is taking a bold step here by going down the online road.
According to Sumit Sawhney, Country CEO and Managing Director of Renault India Operations, this new showroom concept will be an experience centre for prospective customers. Sawhney says that prospective customers get to see cars on the road before they make their way to a showroom. So apparently, it’s alright not having actual cars in the showroom and wouldn’t spoil the whole experience. Well, we are not so sure on that front and the whole idea seems debatable at best. We understand that Renault wants to gain more market share in the country, aspiring to grow to 5% from their current 2% stake. That said, we think that taking risks such as a virtual showroom isn’t the best thing to do, at least for now. However, it is a fancy idea and one which could hold some potential in the future and in the process, benefit everyone involved. Also, if this virtual showroom concept were to take off, we would see many more carmakers eyeing this for their future sales strategy.
Source – ET Auto