With the passage time, many automobile manufacturers have steadily moved from focusing on franchised retailers to other aspects of modern businesses, like technology and branding. In order to liaise better with customers, many automotive manufacturers have established rules for their facilities, which include standardized looks and layouts for the dealerships and the concept of product geniuses. Product geniuses offer specialized knowledge on the various products offered by a manufacturer to improve point sales.
For example, German automobile giant Audi recently experimented with a hi-tech showroom that allowed prospective customers to configure and experience their cars on a 1:1 scale digital screens. Similarly, Mercedes Benz too opened city center brand stores in the places where it could do so legally.
Another interesting example is that of Tesla Motors, who rejected the sales model relying on dealership on the premise that dealerships cannot properly explain the advantages of the cars. They further added that it was difficult to rely on dealerships that were essentially a third party to effectively handle the sales. Tesla then launched city center galleries for customers who wished to view the cars and then buy them online.
Additionally, in countries like the United States of America, auto sales by direct car manufacturers are banned and prohibited by franchise laws in almost every state. This requires every car to be sold only through car dealers.
Car dealers today have an entire team of trained experts who deal with customers. Their primary job is to convert a query into a sale. The experts explain exact specifications to the customers and are trained directly by the car manufacturing companies and units. This helps manufacturers promote and sell their cars while establishing a relationship with the customers who may be doubtful about the purchase.
These experts are trained to ask a variety of questions and judge the lifestyle and requirements of comfort, finances, maintenance and durability. These dealerships offer the customers a chance to experience a vehicle before purchasing it, or even helping the customer make an informed decision.
Clearly, all these services are provided as a part of the agreement the car dealers have with the car manufacturing companies.