NO DOUBT you have heard predictions that sometime in that hazy destination called The Future, car dealerships will no longer exist.
All cars will be bought online, and delivered to your driveway via a flock of heavy-lifting drones.
Apparently consumers don’t like car dealerships much – and especially not young hip things who really aren’t much into cars in the first place.
Holden’s latest recognition of this sad fact is evident in its marketing strategy for the new Holden Spark micro car. It will try to charm its way into the lives of 20-29 year-old (mostly female) potential buyers via a bunch of pop-up shops to be established in major shopping centres in capital cities.
Here’s how it works. Young women out getting their regular dose of retail therapy spot a few brightly coloured and funky looking micro cars in the pop-up shop. The offer of free Messina gelato disables their natural reluctance to approach anything that could be construed in their minds to be A Man Selling A Car.
Instead, they are greeted by a hip young fellow with cool facial hair and, like, properly wicked tatts, who, in a shameless nod to Apple’s in-store crew, is a Spark Genius (when he’s not a barman or barista).
He is there not sell them the car, but to explain all its cool features. Which, to the target audience, will mostly involve connecting their smartphone to the Apple CarPlay system (or Android Auto) and showing them how well the voice-to-text function works, how obedient Siri now is when it comes to giving navigation directions, and how all their favourite apps migrate seamlessly to the seven-inch touch screen.
The range of personalisation accessories – mirror caps, scuff plates, sports pedals, etc – will also no doubt get a big push. Suitably impressed, our Pretty Young Things will either flash the plastic or book a test drive – which, sadly, may involve them having to go to that house of evil known as The Dealership.
The future may be coming, ladies, but sorry, it’s not quite here yet.