When looking to purchase a new vehicle, there are many choices. I mean, roughly ten million vehicles were sold last year. There are a more than a few options. Like many others, I personally dread going to dealerships. It always seems that I have to deal with the one sales guy that won’t take me seriously or just wants to sell me on unnecessary things. So how can automotive manufacturers get people into their cars without stepping foot into a dealership?
I’ll tell you - by putting their vehicles out in front of people in places where they are comfortable with Ride and Drive events. What exactly is a Ride and Drive? It's just as it sounds - it is a test drive event, an opportunity for consumers to get behind the wheel and take a new car for a drive. Ride and Drives can be executed in a multitude of ways, from off road courses to showcase the suspension, track courses to feel the handling and horsepower, to a simple city street driving course. I have helped to bring Ride and Drive / Test Drive events to almost every corner of the country, and they never fail to deliver strong, positive responses.
By bringing the vehicles to the people, it alleviates that stress of the high pressure dealership environment. By placing product specialists in the vehicles, consumers can learn about all of the features and options from a helpful person, without a high pressure sales situation. Consumers can get answers to their questions without feeling defensive. The experience also does not stop with driving. Creating an environment for people to feel comfortable learning more about the brand and products, using interactive displays, playing games or just hanging out is just as crucial. If you are able to make consumers feel comfortable with your brand, then they will walk away from your event with a new, positive experience. When they are ready to purchase, whether it be the next day or six months from now, they will remember how enjoyable the experience was and, most likely, head to their local dealer feeling educated, prepared, and positive about the brand.