Advertisement

"Hyundai has been transforming how people buy cars"

The brand's Rockar shopping centre store is a great new way to buy a car, and other car makers should follow suit, says Steve Fowler

For the past year, Hyundai’s Rockar store in the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent – and its accompanying website – has been transforming the way people buy cars. I’m a fan – as I’ve said before, it’s about selling cars where people are, not where they’re not!

Has it worked? Seems so – we can exclusively reveal that Hyundai is opening a second Rockar store next month, this time in the Westfield shopping centre in Stratford, East London.

Advertisement - Article continues below

I know that plenty of other manufacturers have been watching closely to see how buyers react to the store and its no-pressure approach from ‘angels’ rather than sales people. Or whether they still prefer to go to the more traditional dealer.

• Genesis G90 heads up Hyundai's premium sub-brand

So here are some of the stats that might help persuade them it’s a good idea: while Hyundai won’t reveal numbers, Rockar is in the Top 10 of its dealers for cars sold. 163,000 people have been into the store in the past year. The average age of buyers is 39 – Hyundai’s average at other dealers is 56 (and the industry average is 52). Women account for 54 per cent of Rockar customers – roughly double what it is elsewhere. And half of Rockar’s customers transact online after visiting the store in person. 

Hyundai UK’s President and CEO Tony Whitehorn assured me his other dealers are happy about it, too. “They’ve had people buy from them who’ve been into Rockar,” he told me.

And it’s not quite the end of the traditional dealer, either. “The Internet is becoming a vehicle for transacting as well as information, but for us it’s about clicks and bricks – many people still want to go into dealers,” said Whitehorn.

Of course, he has a large dealer network to keep happy, but Hyundai has taken the brave pill and it seems to be working for it. I’ve been there and it’s a great new way to buy a car. Other makers should (and will) follow suit.

Do you think other car makers should do the same? Let us know below...

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/hyundai/97482/hyundai-and-rimac-team-up-for-new-2020-electric-sports-car
Hyundai RM16 N - Nurburgring spy shot front/side
Hyundai

Hyundai and Rimac confirm 'midship' EV sports car for 2020

Hyundai Group invests £70m in Croatian electric sports car firm with view to developing fully-electric and fuel cell sports cars by 2020
14 May 2019
Visit/hyundai/109135/new-hyundai-prophecy-concept-hints-future-range-topping-saloon
Hyundai

New Hyundai Prophecy concept hints at future flagship saloon

Hyundai Prophecy concept showcases the brand’s future electric car design, as well as a potential new range-topping model
3 Apr 2020
Visit/hyundai/109123/hyundai-and-canoo-to-develop-new-electric-car-platform
Hyundai Canoo skateboard platform
Hyundai

Hyundai and Canoo to develop new electric car platform

Los Angeles-based technology company Canoo has been chosen to help Hyundai develop its new, scalable electric architecture.
12 Feb 2020
Visit/kia/108853/kia-and-hyundai-invest-in-uk-electric-vehicle-firm
Arrival Royal Mail van
Kia

Kia and Hyundai invest in UK electric vehicle firm

British EV firm Arrival gets huge €100million cash injection from Kia and Hyundai
16 Jan 2020

Most Popular

Visit/news/102580/hyundai-kona-electric-get-increased-range-july
Hyundai Kona electric front
Hyundai Kona Electric

Hyundai Kona Electric to get increased range from July

UK-delivered Hyundai Kona Electrics will be outfitted with a handful of mechanical revisions, boosting the SUV’s maximum range to 300 miles
18 Mar 2020
Visit/news/60780/banned-uk-number-plates-20-plate-car-registrations-too-rude-road
Number plates
News

Banned UK number plates: the 20-plate car registrations too rude for the road

The DVLA has released its bi-annual list of banned UK number plates deemed too distasteful for the road
1 Apr 2020
Visit/news/351980/fuel-stations-risk-closure-petrol-sales-fall-75
News

Fuel stations risk closure as petrol sales fall 75%

Many petrol stations, particularly those in rural areas, will have to close due to poor sales during the coronavirus lockdown
31 Mar 2020