Skoda Live Tour brings the showroom to you

  • Skoda trialling new way of selling cars
  • It’s all about the customer experience
  • Look around a car from your own home

Skoda is aiming to give power back to car buyers with a new concept called Skoda Live Tour.

Allowing buyers to receive a guided tour around their desired new car at a time convenient to them from the comfort of their sofa, this new way of browsing cars is aiming to empower the customer.

In essence, everything’s going digital, and Skoda’s getting involved.

How does Skoda Live Tour work?

By simply clicking a button on a dedicated model page on Skoda’s customer website, you’re put through to a dedicated team of experts – Product Hosts – who will guide you through the features of a Skoda model through your computer screen and phone.

You can speak to the team at Skoda’s HQ who will guide you through the models and their features, while a range of cameras around the cars, as well as a smartphone, allow you to see any part of the car you want.

Don’t worry though, they can’t see you – it’s a one-way set-up that allows you to see the car and the Product Host. So you can happily browse a car while in your PJs. 

From there, details can be taken to book in a test drive at your preferred dealer, configure a car or simply sign up to be on Skoda’s mailing list.

For now, it’s only the Kodiaq and facelifted Octavia Estate in the showroom, but there are plans to rotate the cars every two months, adding newer models as and when they’re launched.

We gave it a go

To see how it all works, we popped along to Skoda’s HQ, meeting the team and seeing how it’s all set up.

Skoda’s New Retail Concepts Manager Jonathan Harris led us around the Skoda Live Tour showroom, explaining that ‘customers are seeking convenience and excellent service when looking to make a car purchase.’

It’s a slick operation with an enthusiastic team ready to take calls and show customers around the cars using the cameras and smartphone.

While we didn’t deal with any customers directly, it was clear to see the difference it makes in being able to speak over the phone to someone in real time and see any details of the car you want. Customers will like this if they’re intimidated by dropping into a dealer themselves.

What’s the point?

Many people don’t have time to pop out to the dealership (not everyone likes going to the dealer either), so Skoda wants to give buyers the flexibility of logging on whenever it’s convenient for them. So far, the busiest times are from 7pm onwards – when your local dealer will have already shut up shop.

Opening hours are 10:30-21:30 and you’re able to do this 363 days a year. It’s all about bringing the car to the customer when it’s easiest for them.

It’s still early days for the Skoda Live Tour, having been quietly running since the beginning of April, but feedback is positive so far – more than 90% of those who have used it are impressed – and those ‘selling’ the cars are excited about what they’re doing.

What’s next?

For now, the Skoda Live Tour is in a 12-month trial period to see how successful it is, with three cars in the virtual showroom at any one time.

There’s an appetite for expansion though, in time potentially having the whole range in place, so prospective buyers of any Skoda model will be able to have a tour around the car and begin the buying process from the comfort of their sofa.

You can’t actually make a transaction through this process, though, unlike Hyundai and Peugeot where you’re able to configure and order the car online. You’ll still need to go through the deal at a Skoda retailer.

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