Goodwood: Jaguar Land Rover – Prototype dealership of the future?

If you have a substantial quantity of money or a credit entitlement ring-fenced for purchase of a car, you trot down to your chosen car dealership and, well, a painfully mundane experience soon unfolds.
You turn up, introduce yourself at the reception desk to find out whether a salesman can be roused from their slumber. If one appears, you’ll then embark on a programme of mutual interrogation. He wants to know whether your financial situation warrants his further interest, he also wants to know what type of car it’ll take to part you from your cash. All the while, you’re growing impatient. You want to try the car out. See if it warrants your further interest.
Meanwhile your kids are beating seven bells out of each other, your significant other has reached hitherto unseen levels of boredom. There must be another way?
Yes. Yes there is. Come with me an explore the Prototype Car Dealership of Tomorrow. It’s like E.P.C.O.T, really. Without the schmaltz.

“Jaguar or Land Rover, Sir?”
“Er, Land Rover, please. Range Rover, actually.”
“One minute, sir…..Please Step this way.”
In front of you is an electric turntable, upon which stands a Range Rover that, fractions of a minute ago, was facing the other direction. You and your family jump aboard and, with no further ado, a driver takes you all on a tailored run to demonstrate what the car can do. But what if you’d chosen Jaguar?
You would have been lead to a different turntable on which stands a Jaguar of your nomination. Inside it is a test drive specialist who will, as with the Range Rover, take you on a tailored test run that explores those aspects of the car that are of interest to you.
This prototype dealership offers a “Teenager abusing his father’s sports car in a parking lot” demonstration as its default choice; you wait for a clear path and then your driver, a crack powerslide ace, will snake you and the Jag around a course with such demented fervour that you’ll loose all sense of direction and possibly experience your lunch for the second time that day.
When you’ve fallen in love with the car, it’s time to go inside. It’s in here that Jaguar Land Rover can flex their corporate muscle and impress you with sheer scale.
You walk in and find the dealership to more like a cathedral in terms of internal volume.
There’s space enough in here for an indoor forest as well as myriad cars on display. And, right in the centre is somewhere for the kids to play.
That’s right, Your littl’uns can take control of a scale Jaguar or Land Rover and put it through their own series of rigorous evaluations. Kind gesture or creepy attempt at instilling brand awareness and loyalty at an early age? Could be either, really, and who cares when the kids are having this much fun. And keeping quiet.
What else does this place have that can keep me coming back?
Well, there’s the boutique. In here you can choose any of a million of the latest Jaguar Land Rover lifestyle accessories, and they’re all presented in a way that’s neither in-your-face nor twee or fussy.
And, in the same room, is the very latest in JLR lifestyle vehicles, should you wish to purchase something a little more substantial than branded cufflinks. How about another car, madam? To go with your car.
And then, off to the left, you have the Autobiography consultant. Here your dream Land Rover product can be mixed to your precise recipe. Bespoke colourway? Inexplicable choice of interior finishes? Hydraulic octupus rack and hair compressor in the trunk? In teak and ant-flesh? Certainly, sir. You’re fine with the price? Right away, sir.
Elsewhere there are cafe facilities as well as all the other mundanities, with the service and repair areas tucked safely away, out of sight, but available if you need them.
This isn’t really the prototype car dealership of the future.
But it bloody well should be.
(All images copyright Chris Haining / Hooniverse 2016. Further Goodwood coverage will be scattered over the coming days. Weeks. Probably months)

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  1. desmo Avatar

    OH MY GAWD . . .

    1. Alff Avatar

      If every automaker marketed a signature scent, what would Dodge’s smell like?

      1. Professor Lavahot Avatar
        Professor Lavahot

        Mountain Dew and Doritos?

  2. Rover 1 Avatar
    Rover 1

    When Britain gets service right, it can be like this, just as you’ve described. But in my experience, all too often it’s more like Basil Fawlty in Fawlty Towers, or worse, the Monty Python parrot sketch.
    Sterling work this weekend, from you, Chris. I can smell the wet grass, mud and petrol fumes from here.
    Still it would have distracted you from Brexit over the weekend. What a debacle!

    1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

      I’m so fed up with that portmanteau. Whoever coined it needs to be Brexecuted.

      1. nanoop Avatar

        You can’t put half a country on the death-Brow…
        This is an outdoor event, no need to show me out.

      2. Sjalabais Avatar

        I’m happy we can still access the ‘verse toll free.
        Some of my neighbours just bought a LandRover with three letters and the posh title, they got something like 25% off the new price. For that, they had to go to Stavanger, oil town, where 50+% of the population is somehow employed in the oil industry and used to be rich. Enter the current oil price…
        Anyway, they bought the car, among other things, so that their son can have a save first vehicle in 8-9 years. This area here is a working class area with mostly just the common bread and butter vehicles, so it’s a very special choice and I look forward to see how their ownership experience pans out.
        That “dealership” above is wonderful! Full score.

      3. Rover 1 Avatar
        Rover 1

        No Bregrets?

        1. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

          I struggle to get Brexcited.

          1. Sjalabais Avatar

            About time to Breturn to your usual prose now, huh.

          2. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

            I guess you’re Bright.