Auto Retail Change? No, Not Yet


There’s no doubt the automotive retail sector globally is going to change with disruptive new sales concepts emerging and so challenging – or maybe replacing – the more traditional ‘dealership’ sales channel. And as our earlier blog article (Trouble in Store?) discusses, we thought the first moves towards the future had already started with the digital company ROCKAR opening a number of retail stores for selected manufacturers selling cars direct to consumers with no dealer or Group involved. One of the more exciting parts of this being ROCKAR’s agreement with NEXT, fashion and home retailer, to feature a car-store in one of their flagship branches.

For Hyundai, one of ROCKAR’s clients, perhaps this prospect became too real – too quickly and maybe disruptive amongst their current retail network. Hence today’s news that ROCKAR’s Bluewater store is being handed over to the area’s Hyundai dealership, Motorline. Possibly the motivation (for Hyundai) can be seen in ROCKAR’s comment that their store had increased Hyundai’s local market share from 1.7% to 12% in a declining market, resulting from the store’s presence. 

No doubt this is just a momentary pause whilst Hyundai (and most other manufacturers) strategise further how to make the inevitable transition from the traditional dealership sales channels to High Street and digital retailing. And as we’ve already said, there’s Trouble in Store. In fact it’s already started at Bluewater.

For fuller details check out Automotive Management’s article.