Car manufacturers come to shopping centers

Tesla and Opel open stores at ECE centers

Tesla and Opel, two renowned car brands, have signed long-term leases with ECE centers in Germany. Today, September 1, Opel opened a store at Milaneo shopping center in Stuttgart. The regional car dealership, Autohaus Staiger, has leased a shop space of 170m² on ground floor. This salesroom and showroom will enable visitors to see the car models currently available and arrange appointments for test drives.  Moreover, two or three vehicles will be on display in the store. In addition, customers will have the opportunity to customize their own car online. These can then be ordered in the store or at home from the online shop. A number of test-drive cars are available on the parking deck.

A few weeks earlier, on August 11, 2017, Tesla had opened its first store at Alstertal-Einkaufszentrum (AEZ) in Hamburg. On a shop space covering 150m² the US car manufacturer shows its award-winning and 100% electric car models S (sedan) and X (SUV). The store also features the interactive Tesla Design Studio. Furthermore, visitors can also arrange test drive appointments and several EV charging posts provided by Tesla can be found in the parking garage of AEZ.  Tesla has 18 locations in Germany and has already delivered more than 200,000 electric vehicles worldwide.

With the progress of digitization and the customer requirements arising from it, the automobile industry has been seeking new ways to sell cars. They have decided to leave business parks in favor of a store at central and high-footfall locations such as shopping centers.  Being surrounded by brand stores and with the chance to present and stage the own brand in a high-profile way are only some of the benefits that shopping centers offer car manufacturers besides the benefits of the location itself.  In addition, a balanced merchandise mix, a comfortable atmosphere, and an attractive range of services and events create an appealing ambiance and generate even more footfall at the ECE centers.

“We are always on the lookout for new brands and interesting concepts.  Together with Tesla and Opel we would like to show that cars can be sold in another way than in a plain car dealer's store located outside the city.  An effective connection of online and offline shopping using the latest technology is required to make this work,” said Alexander Otto, CEO of ECE.