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The Future of Automotive Retail Arrives in Canada at Mercedes-Benz Kelowna

Autosphere » Dealerships » The Future of Automotive Retail Arrives in Canada at Mercedes-Benz Kelowna
To celebrate International Women’s Day, Mercedes-Benz Kelowna invited local women and girls to visit its state-of-the-art new facility and enjoy the premier screening of a new documentary about women in motorsports. The facility in Kelowna is the first-of-its-kind in Canada and showcases Mercedes-Benz’s vision for the future of automotive retail. Photo Mercedes-Benz Canada

The new Mercedes-Benz concept for automotive retail makes its Canadian debut at Mercedes-Benz Kelowna.

The brand-new facility boasts a design concept developed by the Mercedes-Benz Design Team in Stuttgart, Germany, to immerse guests in modern luxury. Throughout the sales and service journey, the design turns the showroom into a true brand experience with a combination of spatial design, innovative processes, and seamlessly integrated digital platforms.

In the new retail concept, everything on the showroom floor is there to enhance the customer’s interactions with the vehicles. For example, administrative tasks are reduced or streamlined via integrated digital platforms, allowing customers to enjoy the world’s most desirable cars without visual distraction or interruption. The latest Mercedes-Benz concept also incorporates features and processes that combine personal interactions and traditional services with digital touchpoints that centralize information, allowing a smooth and efficient experience across all departments, from sales to financing and service.

In addition, customers can interact with the retail team in a variety of settings, depending on their needs and preferences. For example, throughout the showroom a variety of specially designed lounge areas allow sales and service conversations to take place in a relaxed setting. Closed offices are also available, for customers who prefer a more private setting.

“Customers at Mercedes-Benz Kelowna now have the opportunity to experience the brand on a new level with every visit to the dealership,” says Andreas Tetzloff, CEO, Mercedes-Benz Canada. “Mercedes-Benz makes the world’s most desirable cars by taking a customer-centric approach and focusing on three key pillars: aesthetics, technology, and sustainability. Our new retail concept applies the same approach to the automotive showroom. The team at Mercedes-Benz Kelowna has invested in the future of automotive retail and enhanced the dealership experience for our customers in the process. We thank them for their partnership and extend our heartfelt congratulations on being the first location in Canada to apply the new retail concept in this beautiful new facility.”

“The team at Mercedes-Benz Kelowna has always been passionate about providing an ownership experience that is equal to the iconic vehicles we sell,” says Adam Rich, General Manager, Mercedes-Benz Kelowna. “Now, we are proud to be the first location to introduce this new retail concept in Canada. Not only is it a beautiful facility, but its thoughtful, innovative design facilitates a premium Mercedes-Benz experience for every customer who visits our location.”

New architecture & design features combine analogue & digital elements for an enhanced customer experience

In the new design concept, a largely transparent building façade creates a flowing transition between interior and exterior spaces. The 4,645 m2 interior is largely an open concept, with spatial boundaries deliberately kept to a minimum to maintain a feeling of spaciousness.

From the moment the visitor enters the showroom, the architecture of the new concept is evident. In place of a traditional reception desk, customers are welcomed into an informal and relaxing seating area by a “Star Assistant”—a newly created role that is responsible for ensuring positive first impressions. The “Star Assistant” creates a welcoming atmosphere at reception by confirming the customer’s needs and goals, setting them on their dealership journey by introducing them to the appropriate team members.

The new Mercedes-Benz retail concept experience combines the benefits of in-person and digital touchpoints to optimize the customer experience. For example, during a vehicle walk-through, sales and service consultants can use media surfaces or mobile devices to enhance their presentation. Alternating the use of media surfaces and in-person demonstrations supports an effective explanation of Mercedes-Benz’s portfolio of products and services.

Throughout the facility, eight large digital screens complement the display vehicles with dynamic video content. The largest screen is approximately 1.2 metres wide by 0.6 metres tall and can be used as a focal point for a variety of presentation formats.

An enhanced service experience with drive-up service reception

Customers arriving at the dealership for service appointments also enjoy an enhanced experience. Upon arrival, they drive their vehicles into an indoor service reception area within the dealership, park, and are greeted by the Service Advisor, who is already aware of the details of their appointment with the help of the dealership’s integrated digital platforms. There are 17 service bays at the facility.

Charging infrastructure

Mercedes-Benz dealers across the country have invested significantly to prepare for the transformation to EVs. In 2023, 88 Level 3 DC fast chargers and 694 Level 2 Chargers were installed across the company’s network of 59 dealerships. Mercedes-Benz Kelowna has two DC fast chargers and 20 Level 2 chargers for EV customers.

Nicole Havrda, a professional racecar driver from B.C., engages with girls from Big Brothers Big Sisters programs at an International Women’s Day event hosted by Mercedes-Benz Kelowna. The girls were invited to visit Mercedes-Benz Kelowna’s state-of-the-art new facility and explore careers in automotive as part of Mercedes-Benz Canada’s “Driving Your Future” initiative, which focuses on empowering the next generation. Photo Mercedes-Benz Canada

A space designed to be experienced

The open floorplan and inviting design elements featured in the new retail concept allow showrooms to easily transform into event spaces capable of hosting large groups for unique brand experiences.

Just ahead of International Women’s Day, Mercedes-Benz Kelowna hosted just such an event, designed to highlight potential career paths in automotive for women. Attendees included girls from the local chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters, as well as women from the Kelowna business community. The event featured tours of the new dealership, an exclusive screening of a new documentary about women in motorsport, and a Q&A and meet-and-greet with one of the drivers featured in the film: Nicole Havrda, an 18-year-old from Comox Valley, B.C., who is currently racing in Formula 3, to eventually compete in Formula 1.

Havrda was excited to get involved and inspire more girls to explore opportunities in the automotive space, and to encourage women in general to continue to push boundaries and challenge the status quo. Her appearance at Mercedes-Benz Kelowna was part of Mercedes-Benz Canada’s “Driving Your Future” Corporate Citizenship initiative, which focuses on empowering the next generation of Canadians through a partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters.

“Our team at Mercedes-Benz Kelowna put in a lot of hard work to bring this new retail concept to Canada. It was extremely rewarding to showcase the facility by hosting such a unique and exciting International Women’s Day event. I’m proud that we could create an inspirational evening for women and girls from our community,” says Pamela Pearson, Director of Internal Operations, Mercedes-Benz Kelowna.

 

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