The look of things to come at Saturn dealerships: 'Retail Environment Design 2.'
This store, Saturn of Riverdale, Utah, is the prototype for a new $40 million investment program by Saturn's 380 dealerships.
Even though most of its stores are less than 5 years old, Saturn wants the network to have a more folksy, homelike atmosphere, with crackling fireplaces and den settings.
Using home-style furniture rather than the commercial pieces normally found in a retail store will add a little more distance between Saturn and traditional auto retailing, the automaker reasons.
One area of the store will serve as a 'private study,' complete with a library of reference books and a computer, where customers can research their car purchase. The dealerships will allow visitors to use the Internet to examine other brands and compare products and prices.
A small kitchen will offer coffee drinks and other refreshments.
Saturn expects 140 stores to adopt the RED-2 look this year, with all stores converting by 2005.