Hyundai has opened what it calls the UK’s first digital car showroom at Bluewater in Kent today. 

Apparently, 40% of Britons are more likely to buy a car if they can avoid speaking to a sales person in the process, so this initiative aims to take them out of the equation. 

What is significant here is that customers can test drive a car, arrange finance and trade ins and buy all from the showroom. 

The showroom was created by Rockar using Summit’s retail platform and contains no sales staff, just product experts (on cars and the tech) who receive no commission. 

Car sales people will no doubt be disappointed to learn that they’re deterring 40% of potential customers, but the traditional dealership model has a long way to go yet. 

As Tony Whitehorn, President and CEO, Hyundai Motor UK says: 

Traditional car dealerships will always have a vital role to play in the car buying and ownership experience. However, this online and in-store option gives customers another choice to fit around their busy lives.

The showrooms feature interactive screens where consumers can see lists of potential cars before choosing specs such as colour, transmission and fuel type. 

These choices can then be adjusted to allow them to see how different selections affect price and cost. 

While digital showrooms have been used before, Audi City being one example, the fact that people can set up finance and make a purchase there and then makes this an interesting move. 

Indeed, locating such digital showrooms in shopping centres rather than the more traditional dealership locations, normally on the outskirts of towns, may have the benefit of increasing casual researchers. 

It seems that automotive brands are now beginning to go digital in a big way, and it’ll be interesting to see if people are prepared to buy cars like this.