Luxury dealership campuses are only the start of Wolfgang Reitzle's vision for the Premier Automotive Group, which sells Ford Motor Co.'s luxury brands.
Managing brands is a 'very holistic game,' Reitzle, group vice president of Premier, said in a speech during the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show in January. That may mean offering Land Rover adventure trips, global mobility packages, vehicle personalization at the dealership and other services, he said.
Here are some of the changes Reitzle envisions in auto retailing:
'In the future it must not only be that we sell cars. You can buy mobility from us.
'If you are a consultant running around the world, you need a car everywhere. So you could, for example, in the future purchase for $50,000, let's say, a mobility package from us.
'If you give us 24-hours notice, we will provide you wherever you go in the world a car, a car out of a certain selection of your choice.
'That can only be done if you have an infrastructure worldwide with thousands of dealers.'
'In the future, we want to offer you holidays. We will organize special holidays for you. We could do Land Rover adventure trips. There are additional new profit opportunities and service opportunities, which go far beyond being only a car company selling a car and then servicing the car.'
'People go more and more for individual product; for customized, personalized stuff. Watch the kids today. Look at Levi's. Visit their flagship store in San Francisco. You get the perfect jeans, whatever size you need. They have all kinds of different sizes, but within 10, 15 minutes, you can individualize your personal jeans with patterns and (various types of) stuff. They do it in the shop.
'This overall trend of individualization is a robust one, and we, the car industry, have to pay more attention. My prediction is that it will go so far that finally, the last step of personalization will take place in the big dealerships.
'In the future, the big, strong dealers will not only have a service shop. They will also have a shop for personalization. We (will) design the cars (so) the dealer can change parts, make the interior a personalized interior, change the colors, change it after a year.'
Premier 'will have new design studios in London, where we will design merchandise articles. Merchandising is something which should support the brand and not dilute it by putting your brand name on cheap stuff.'