The Vikings Automobiles group presents the first Volkswagen City Store in Rouen
In Rouen (76), the Vikings Automobiles group inaugurated in the presence of Xavier Chardon, president of the VW group, and Gerrit Heimberg, head of the brand, the first Volkswagen City Store.
The Norman group Vikings Automobiles has inaugurated the first Volkswagen City Store in Rouen (76).
The group Vikings cars inaugurated the first Volkswagen City Store in France in Rouen (Seine-Maritime). “The number of dealership visits is now only 1.2 before a car purchase “, remember Xavier Chardon, Chairman of the Executive Board of the Volkswagen France Group. “We must therefore test new formats to reach customers, come against them, where they are, namely in city centers or shopping centers. “
If the idea of opening small sites in shopping areas in which the manufacturer presents part of its range is relatively new in France, it is much more developed in China. “The first ID. Store was launched in November 2020, reminder Xavier Chardon. There are now about sixty and eventually the two joint ventures in China plan to open two hundred. But this inauguration has the particularity of being in the city center, whereas these new distribution concepts often emerge in shopping centers, such as, for example, the concept store of the Bodemer group in Cherbourg (Manche).
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This City Store concept is part of the German group’s strategy of developing new points of contact at the heart of the flow of customers, whether temporary or permanent. Volkswagen does not communicate on the number of points of representation planned in France, but “a second is under discussion “, indicates Gerrit Heimberg, director of Volkswagen France.
Interactive terminals and engineering products
The Rouen site, called Auto Connect, is located in the city center, a stone’s throw from the cathedral. It is a 78 m² space in which two vehicles are displayed. “The vocation of this site is not to sell but to inform customers and to support them in their approach “, present Romain Vauchel, Marketing and Digitalization Director of the Vikings Automobiles group. As a reminder, the latter is an important distributor of the brands of the Volkswagen group. It is present in four of the five departments of Normandy, sells 5,000 VN, 5,000 VO and achieves a turnover of 200 million euros.
Customers are supported by a genius product that has interactive kiosks as tools. These present the entire range and services offered by the German brand. “The customer can thus configure his vehicle and we can schedule tests in the dealership “, pursuing Romain Vauchel. The concept also incorporates the new ID standards but developed in miniature in the City store and which will be developed in the dealerships in the coming months.
Complementary to concessions
Because this City Store does not want to replace the concessions. “It is an additional point of contact to reach customers, insist Dominique vauchel, Managing Director of Vikings Automobiles. We are considering very advanced CRM tools that allow us to follow the customer journey as soon as it enters our Auto Connect. And if ever our product genius is busy with another customer, the prospect, if he has entered his contact details on the interactive terminal, will be called back within five minutes. While the customers who come to our dealerships are already advanced in their purchasing stage, here we discover prospects who are at the very beginning of their process “, notes Romain Vauchel.
For this first City Store, Vikings Automobiles, which is the tenant of the place, an investment of around 100,000 €. This investment was supported by Volkswagen France. The group which has almost started with a blank sheet does not communicate on its objectives. It remains to determine the profitability of the tool.