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What Audi's Metropolis Cyberstore Means In London

Audi has a “me too” moment with its Metropolis Cyberstore in London. The Audi City showroom will feature stunning visuals of future electric and hybrid cars.


After BMW’s much advertised iStore in London, which itself seems to have taken on a lot of Apple design, it’s Audi’s turn to showcase its future and upcoming electric cars. Probably after seeing BMW’s media success, Audi didn’t want to be left behind. After all, the German carmaker has been on a serious offensive for the past decades to buff up its image and give BMW some much needed competition.

Audi’s Store. Audi’s store comes up conveniently right on the heels of the Olympic Games and no less then on the famed Piccadilly Circus. Using prominent life size screens, Audi will showcase life-size images of its cars. The presentation won’t just show exteriors and basic design, it will go much further inside. You will be able to see interiors, onboard and under the hood snippets. This should make for a fun view of something we rarely get to scrutinize, the interior of the Audi R8 e-tron.

Audi’s store will be used to show people that it can be that “one stop shop” for anything Audi related. Passerby will be able to not only see cars but to purchase them, right then and there. What will also be available are the leasing of the cars, as well as purchasing Audi’s mobility program and other personalized after-sales services.

Much as BMW has come to conclude, selling electric cars, EVs and plug-in hybrids, PHEV when you are renowned for gasoline internal combustion engines necessitates a different client approach. The idea here is to get the public involved through graphics, videos and cutaways on gigantic screens. In fact, Audi City will concentrate as much on services as it will on its hardware, mainly cars.

But fear not, you won’t have to fly over to England to drool over the latest Audi has to offer. Indeed, the company plans to open up 15 such stores throughout the planet by 2015.

According to Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management for Marketing and Sales at AUDI AG: “Audi City combines the best of two worlds – digital product presentation and personal contact with the dealer. This new retail format brings us even closer to our customers – geographically, of course, but first and foremost in terms of the quality of our relationship. Audi City offers new freedom for tailor-made services and an even more individual contact with the customer.”

Can You Sell An EV With Images? And that is the real question, many carmakers have already answered. You can’t sell an electric car with images alone. They have to be driven. They have to be experienced if potential buyers are to get the full experience. So how will the Audi Store convince its clientele to buy into its upcoming line of electric and plug-in hybrid cars? Through visual stimulation. This is a noteworthy point since the German have always espoused the function dictates forms when it comes to design, making their cars practical but sometimes lacking the elegant and dramatic flare the Italian infuse in their vehicles.

It will be interesting to see how Audi develops the Metropolis Cyberstore Audi Store and how, if any it differentiates its stores fro the BMW iStores.