Taking a page out of Tesla’s playbook, Ford is testing out mall storefronts. Yes, having cars in malls is far from a new concept, with dealerships plopping down vehicles to generate sales leads for the past few decades. But this is the first time a major automaker has moved forward with creating mall storefronts. Crazy things happen when sales tank and everyone gets desperate.
You also have to take into consideration the fact that a growing number of car shoppers do all their research online. They’re not showing up at a dealership and asking what they should buy, like the easy marks some car salesmen still want to treat everyone like.
Called Ford “Smart Labs,” these storefronts are being pioneered by Elena Ford herself. They don’t cut out dealers, but instead are supposed to be run by a local dealership. In fact, it was a Ford dealer in Turin, Italy, who came up with the initial concept.
One of these Smart Labs will be put in an American mall. Others are already operating in Quebec City, Germany, Italy, and Belgium. Ford claims so far the idea is working to generate new leads.
Source: The Detroit News