Car manufacturers have been tinkering around with technology for years now. However, 2017 seems to be the year that everything gets taken up a notch. We have already seen plenty of interest in autonomous cars at CES this year. Now, here in Singapore, we see the future of car sales as well. Audi, one of the leading names, is showing off what you can do with Virtual Reality when selling cars.
Audi’s Virtual Reality Showroom
First shown off at CES last week, Singapore is the first market to experience Audi’s VR showroom first hand. From 12 to 15 January you can head to the Suntec Exhibition Hall and try it out for yourself. Stick on the VR headset, and you can build your car. Customise everything both inside and outside the car, and then you can experience sitting inside your own creation. Because it’s VR, you can even place the car in an environment. Not just any environment, however: Audi says you can stick it on the roof of a building, in the Icelandic Mountains or even on the moon.
That’s not all, however. Audi has also brought along a second VR experience, but this one is just for entertainment. This time, you experience being in the pit lane during the famous 24 hours Le Mans endurance race. If both of these experiences become part of an Audi showroom and not just part of an exhibition, they make perfect companion pieces. While choosing the specifications of your new car, any bored family member or friend can pretend to be a mechanic while waiting.
The future of car showrooms?
So is this a glimpse into how new cars will be sold in the future? Anna Bory, Audi Singapore marketing general manager, seems to think so. “Cars are becoming smart cars. That affects the whole environment, not just the car itself, but retail and marketing as well. At last year’s motor show, we had VR, but it was static. This is the next level,” she says in an interview with Campaign Asia-Pacific.
Bory adds, “Asia is the most advanced continent in the world digitally, and it’s also where people adopt new technology faster. This new VR experience really shows everything we can offer. It gives customers the opportunity to see their car, which you don’t really get right now; you just look in a catalogue.” She admits that VR can be seen as gimmicky, but personally believes that it really is how cars will be sold in the future. Throughout the year, Audi is going to install these kinds of VR showrooms in several markets across the Asia-Pacific as well as globally. You can bet that Singapore will be one of those, so if you don’t get to see it this weekend, you won’t have to wait for long until it shows up somewhere in Singapore.
source: Campaign Asia-Pacific