In a first for the South African motor industry, Audi has launched a virtual reality-enabled Audi Customer Private Lounge (CPL) at Audi Centre Centurion in Gauteng, bringing the brand in South Africa in line with global trends, by offering an innovative, digital, retail solution which allows customers to customise the Audi of their choice.
With the VR solution, customers can get an extremely realistic experience of their individually configured car, down to the last detail.
The Audi CPL allows for a one-to-one engagement between a customer and a sales consultant in a digital, premium and intimate environment. Once in the CPL, digital technologies like the VR headset and 75-inch screen allow the Audi sales consultant to present the entire Audi model range, including all equipment options, colour combinations, packages and specifications during the customer sales dialogue.
More than 400 Audi Customer Private Lounges or digitalised consulting suites are already in use in Audi dealerships around the world.
The VR application allows users to become completely immersed in the virtual world, conveying an all-encompassing, detailed image prior to the purchase decision, without having to see the physical vehicle on the dealership floor. The configured Audi is experienced in three dimensions and 360 degrees, with all light and sound effects.
Various environments, times of day, and light conditions also contribute to the true-to-life virtual experience of sitting in the car. The interior can also be observed from every perspective, down to the surface of the decorative inlays, depending on the position relative to the virtual light source.
"Digitalisation is key part of Audi's global corporate strategy, and the CPL is a great example of this," said Trevor Hill, head of Audi South Africa. "It's a great opportunity to introduce this form of innovation and technology within the South African automotive industry and to have progressive Dealer partners such as Audi Centre Centurion, who have presented a truly premium retail experience for Audi customers," concluded Hill.
In addition, the VR headset within the Audi CPL offers customers the chance to experience special Audi moments - an expectation that more and more customers associate with buying a car. Motorsport fans can, for instance, immerse themselves virtually in the atmosphere of the Le Mans 24 Hours race: reminiscent of Audi victories at this iconic endurance race, the customer gets an up-close experience during a pit stop alongside the crew of mechanics.
Audi expects to roll out the CPL concept to more dealerships around South Africa within the coming years. The full, VR-enabled, Vorsprung experience is now available to Audi enthusiasts and customers at the newly revamped Audi Centre Centurion, Gauteng.