With millions of Chinese becoming first-time car owners, Bloomberg News describes the lengths dealerships are going to to coax them through the process and attract referrals and repeat custom.
“They go through a different process from what you’d see in the U.S.,” Nigel Harris, Ford Asia Pacific’s vice president of sales & service, said by phone. “Not only are they first-time car buyers, but their family hasn’t had the experience either.”
[…] At a Ford Motor Co. (F) showroom in Shanghai’s Pudong district, there’s an in-house manicurist and shoe-shiner. Singers perform at barbecues for customers, and periodically the dealer holds drawings for gifts such as iPads and TVs.
[…] The three-story Mercedes-Benz dealership in Shanghai’s Putuo district has a 12-seat theater (often showing movies that feature Mercedes vehicles), a cigar room for repeat customers, a library, a fitness center, and a game room that includes pool tables and driving games. At lunch, there’s a buffet with five different meat and vegetable dishes, and a full-time tea artist brews various types of Chinese tea. [Source]
Not only sales techniques but also cars themselves are increasingly being adapted to the Chinese market. Horns, for example, are being made more durable and “melodic” to accommodate usage reportedly forty times more frequent than in Europe.