In recent times there’s been a big move towards car brands taking the decision to showcase their latest vehicles beyond the traditional dealership environment. Taking vehicles to the public rather than waiting for them to proactively search out the cars online or at the dealership makes perfect sense. The big question is how to best execute this strategy. There are various options and we will explore the pros and cons of each option.
A Pop Up Shop Based in A Retail Environment
Creating a pop up store in an unused retail space makes perfect sense for car brands looking to target areas of high footfall. The space can be fitted with the latest technology and can also feature the cars. Unlike traditional dealerships located in clusters on industrial parks, a busy shopping weekend at the mall is likely to translate in to a busy weekend at the pop up store. There are some good examples of mall based pop ups, the DS space in Westfield being a great example of a well-executed pop up installation.
A well-chosen retail environment that fits with the brand’s target audience gets a big thumbs-up from us. The only downside to this strategy is that it lacks portability and can’t capture the shorter windows of opportunity, for example, a high-profile sporting event. For brands looking to have a more mobile solution there are various alternative options.
Can capture areas of high footfall in an indoor environment
Ideal for seasonal campaigns
Availability of economic rents by utilising unused retail space
The solution is not easily portable
It is not ideal for one off activations
You cannot take the structure to your VIP client base
A Mobile Dealership
Modern engineering has truly transformed the ability of brands to have a physical presence at a location whilst retaining all the features not to mention the look and feel of the dealership. The mobile dealership opens-up like a beautiful peacock to create the impression of a permanent space – a miracle of engineering and a fantastic structure to host a large amount of people.
The downside to the structure is that it takes a few hours to set up and the vehicles on display have to be transported separately from the structure. Here’s Porsche’s fantastic mobile dealership that packs up into a single truck & trailer.
Can truly reflect a traditional dealership aesthetically
Mobile and easily transportable
Room for only one car
A Showcase on Wheels
A showcase on wheels has a lot of benefits. In addition to being able to transport the vehicle on display the other primary benefit is speed. The structure can be quickly set up and is ready to go. It is not labour intensive which keeps the costs of assembly low.
The key considerations when designing a showcase on wheels are;
What is the maximum weight that can be carried by the structure? Most smaller structures that are pulled with 4×4 vehicles have a maximum towing weight of 3.5 tonnes (including the car inside).
Larger HGVs are more suited to carrying heavier weights (think breakdown recovery size vehicle). These vehicle require a driver with an HGV licence. If you go down the route of having an HGV vehicle as the towing unit then the showcase can either be permanently affixed to the truck cab or it can be demounted from the truck to sit as a stand-alone unit away from the cab. Aesthetically this may be more pleasing to some clients and it also gets over the issue of having a certain brand of car being attached to a truck manufactured by a competing company.
A showcase on wheels can be towed by HGVs and the unit size and weight is determined by the maximum towing capacity of the vehicle pulling it. Another key consideration with the showcase on wheels option is the legal width of the trailer. The maximum legal width of a vehicle is 2.55 metres. This width is wide enough to accommodate even the biggest luxury saloons, however, it doesn’t leave much space around the vehicle and people wouldn’t be able to walk round a car inside a vehicle located within a truck 2.55m. To negate this problem the options are to either have;
• A truck with expandable sides – this allows the body on the back of the truck to double in width creating a footprint which is far greater than 2.55m
• A truck with an attachable viewing platform – if the side of the showcase is removable or can be positioned as a gull-wing, a viewing platform can be attached to the side which allows people to access the interior of the vehicle and even walk around it
• A demountable body – a showcase that can be lowered to the ground allows the public to interact with the car without the need for a viewing platform
Quick to assemble
Potential space limitation for only one vehcile
A Container Showcase
Modern engineering allows multiple containers to be positioned together to create a super-structure. The containers are transported on flatbed trucks and with the use of a forklift or crane, the containers are removed from the truck and positioned on the floor like giant pieces of Lego. As the structure is on the floor there is less of an access issue into the showcase. That said, the set-up time of a showcase that is transported on flatbed trucks is far greater than a solution that remains on the chassis of the vehicle.
The containers can be 13m in length and still comply with the 2.55m legal width permissible on the roads. There is also the option of having expandable bodies to increase the size of the container’s footprint. The units can also be stacked on top of each other to create a two-storey structure.
In addition to the length of time required to set-up, another disadvantage is the number of vehicles / drivers required to transport the structure. If the event is not just for a day but is staying for a few days / weeks or even months, a container-based solution is a cost-effective way of creating a great space to exhibit vehicles. The trucks required to move the containers can be easily hired which means clients don’t need to invest in a truck cab.
Can create a great space
Containers can be stacked to create multi storey structures
Containers can be forklifted into position and fitted together like giant blocks of Lego
Expandable sides and raising roofs can dramatically increase the internal space of a pop-up showcase
Slow to set up and requires a forklift / crane on site
Our mobile showcases are ideal to show off your latest model and truly engage with your audience.
Check out the following videos: